Ford is gearing up to collaborate with Lyft, Dominoes, and Postmates to get their autonomous vehicles out on the street. With its new self-driving platform, Ford, seemingly tired of just being a car company, is hoping to emerge as an operating system for the future of mobility. Ford CEO Jim Hackett is appearing at CES 2018 in Las Vegas to explain the new approach the company will be taking regarding the new self-driving models. It is all filed under a Ford initiative called “The City of Tomorrow”.
Ford is pretty excited about the idea of self-starting cars that can talk to traffic lights, pedestrians’ phones, and even other vehicles on the road. Ford is partnering with Qualcomm to install “vehicle-to-everything” technology in all of its cars. By 2019, Ford expects all of its cars to have hit the road, complete with Qualcomm’s connected car technology installed.
At CES, Ford is especially discussing how these cars are going to make money. Jim Farley, Ford’s executive vice president and president for global markets, writes,
[O]ur new platform will make it easy to connect to and work with our partners, who can benefit by accessing our fleet of self-driving vehicles to serve their customers. Lyft, for example, is already testing the platform, which includes specific communications protocols that will be used to request and dispatch autonomous vehicles from our fleet for times and locations with surging customer demand, or to areas that are often underserved.
In the months to come, Ford says that it will begin to deploy its self-driving cars for delivery companies. “In the future, when a consumer uses Postmates to place a purchase — whether for groceries, takeout or other goods — a self-driving vehicle could be what delivers her order,” says Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification.
[Via The Verge]