As the race for self-driving vehicles heats up, longtime heavyweight automaker Ford promises to make its mark. “Ford of the Future” – the company’s autonomous car – has received significant endorsement from Navigant Research, which concluded in a study released on April 3 that Ford is in pole position when it comes to benefiting from the coming age of autonomous vehicles. In terms of the strategy and execution of self-driving cars, Navigant Research named Ford the first out of 18 companies developing self-driving technology, among BMW, nuTonomy and Uber, to name a few .

ford

Navigant.

The research company provides its in-depth surveys of energy and transportation markets to suppliers, policymakers and other industry stakeholders. Ford now enjoys great confidence that its autonomous vehicles will be capable of competing with those of Tesla‘s and Google‘s.

At the Society of Automative Engineers (SAE) International World Congress on Tuesday, Ford’s Vice President of Research and Advanced Engineering Ken Washington announced that the company’s autonomous vehicles were being tested in various locations in the US, including Southeast Michigan, are at the lower end of the self-driving spectrum.

“Ford has been developing and testing autonomous vehicles for more than 10 years,” said Raj Nair, Ford Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, and Chief Technical Officer. “We have a strategic advantage because of our ability to combine the software and sensing technology with the sophisticated engineering necessary to manufacture high-quality vehicles. That is what it takes to make autonomous vehicles a reality for millions of people around the world.”

ford autonomous car

Source: Ford

After being immersed in autonomous vehicle research and development, Ford’s first fully autonomous vehicle will be a SAE-defined level 4-capable vehicle. It is designed to operate without a steering wheel, gas or brake pedal, for use in commercial mobility services such as ride sharing and ride hailing within geo-fenced areas and to be available in high volumes.

Last year, Uber tested its self-driving technology in Pittsburg in spite of concerns about both reliability and cybersecurity in hackable robot cars.

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