Ford Motor CEO Mark Fields Sidesteps Question About Self-Driving Car Project With Google At CES
Ford-Google Self-Driving Car
When asked about the project at CES, Ford Motor CEO Mark Fields declined to go into details about it. “We work with a number of partners, not just one, and for competitive reasons, I don’t want to go into details on any one project we may be working on,” Fields said.
Though Ford did not do what was anticipated at CES – formally announce the self-driving car project with Google – Fields did offer some insight on how Ford plans to move forward with the concept. According to Fields, Ford will boost its fleet of self-driving cars up from 10 to 30 in the hopes of gaining the information needed to develop a car that can be released to the public.
“We take autonomous driving very, very seriously. And we want to make sure that when we talk about something that we have a lot of experience under our belts to inform and to allow us to speak intelligently around what our plans are going forward,” Fields further explained to MIT Technology Review. “But obviously we’re here at CES this year to, at the highest level, really send the message that we are transforming the company from just an auto company to an auto and mobility company, and thinking about it in this more holistic way, through what we call Ford Smart Mobility, and one of the elements is autonomous driving.”
Fields went on to point out all of the potentially problematic elements that Ford will have to work through to create a functioning and safe self-driving auto. He mentioned the effects of weather conditions and autonomous vehicles’ inability to break the law – even when it’s safer to do so – as things the company is trying to work out.
“It’s going to take time. We’ve said that we haven’t put a time frame on when we would be introducing a fully autonomous vehicle,” Fields told Technology Review. “But we’ve said when we do we want to make sure it works, it’s safe, and also it’s accessible to everyone, and not just folks that can afford luxury cars.”