Many car manufacturers are working to develop self-driving, autonomous vehicles. These cars and trucks would provide a unique driving experience. While this can be tested through some Uber locations currently, they are not available to consumers. In Detroit, this week, accessibility to this development in vehicle technology was addressed many times.
Ford CEO, Mark Fields, has set a goal to change accessibility to self-driving cars in as little as five years. As many announcements came out of the North American Auto Show this week, one of the most exciting was when Mark Fields spoke about producing a highly autonomous vehicle by 2021.
In an interview with CNBC, Fields spoke about a six tier autonomous system. Zero is the lowest possible level, meaning only driver support. One through three would be a driver and self-driving hybrids at various levels. At level four, highly autonomous, there is more computer driving than human driving built into the car.
This level of AI independence is the target set by Fields for Ford’s 2021 self-driving car release.
Level five, on this list, is a fully automated car. A level five vehicle would not have the option for a driver assisted system. What might be found in a car that is a tier four?
A tier four, highly autonomous car, would be a driver supported, an automatic driving system capable of handling all dynamic driving required for road function. The Ford’s goal is to create a car that can take over all driving function, regardless of what is required. It will still allow for the option of a driving experience. If they can reach this goal on time, 2021 promises to be Ford’s year.
With the 2019 Ford Ranger, also being built at the Michigan plant, there is speculation that the Bronco may be a mid-sized design of the smaller Ranger. The Ford has also confirmed that Bronco and Ranger are only two of five utility vehicles slated to arrive by 2020. These announcements also give the Ford fans a lot to look forward to over the next few years. With five utility vehicles across multiple sizes, a highly autonomous car, and a deadline of 2021, the Ford production lines will be very busy in the years to come.