Ford CEO Mark Fields announced at the 2016 International CES that the company will triple the volume of autonomous vehicles in its armada of research and development vehicles. He also made other announcements which are geared on defining the endeavors of the company towards shaping the modern car industry.
Field acknowledges the current statistics which shows that Ford only gets 6% of the global auto industry’s $2.3 trillion revenue per annum and none from the $5.4 trillion from the transportation service market. The company said that everything is going to change under Field’s helm.
The company declared that they are building the automotive industry’s biggest autonomous vehicle development fleet which involvesfurthering the development and trials of its virtual driver software in different environments. Installed on these vehicles are the 3rd generation technology solid-state hybrid Ultra Puck auto sensor from Velodyne. Testing of these hybrid autonomous vehicles will occur in Arizona, California and Michigan to accumulate miles and real world testing. In addition to this, the company plans to deliver 13 electric vehicles to the public by 2020.
Ford partnered withDJI, the world’s leading developer of profession grade UAV’s to link their Ford vehicles to drones for improved emergency services in the event of natural disasters. The vehicle and drone communicate through the Ford Sync Applink.
Further expanding their list of associates, Ford partnered with TechStar Mobility in scouting new startup talents eligible for the $120,000 funding and training they have set aside. They are now open for applications from fresh startups concentrating on the development of mobility solutions.
Ford disclosed the reality that people are now living in their cars and that the portion of drive-through window purchases from fastfoods take up two-thirds of the stores total purchases. In addition to this, middle class people are expected to double by 2030 resulting to more overcrowded cities and traffic jams. This calls on car companies to think of revolutionary solutions to deal with this problem.
Field suggested, “This is an opportunity to make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves,”
Apple and Android users would be able to integrate their devices with Ford Sync within the year.Currently, there are 15 million users and is expected to grow to 43 million by 2020.