Ford revs up self-driving auto and smart city plans

Mindy Sparks
January 13, 2018

The company touted its partnership with Silicon Valley startup Autonomic as they collaborate on the "Transportation Mobility Cloud", which would allow for communication between vehicles, pedestrians, public transit, and city infrastructure.

Ford Motor (F) announced new partnerships in self-driving cars Tuesday and said it will develop an open-source, cloud-based platform for new mobility services.

In a notice posted on its blog earlier this week, Postmates said: "As the first on-demand delivery partner for Ford's self-driving program, the first phase of our pilot will evaluate and measure what the merchant experience needs to be at the point of delivery, what the customer experience needs at the point of drop-off, and how the hardware of self-driving technology may need to be outfitted when integrated with an on-demand network". On-demand autonomous delivery vehicles will help "loosen the grip of geography" and help small businesses serve a wider array of customers, Marakby said.

In a slew of announcements made at the CES in Las Vegas this week, the vehicle maker detailed how it plans to transition into an automotive and mobility company - something it has been talking about for a while. Uber Technologies agreed to purchase 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo a year ago. Instead, it focused on promoting a broad vision for improved cities and transportation systems, hinting that Ford may have wanted to benefit from the excitement around autonomous transportation despite not having made significant progress on a self-driving vehicle.

It's all part of Ford's work to expand beyond its traditional business of making cars into a future where the vehicle driving down the street is only one part of a larger ecosystem backed by high-tech services.

Also at CES, Volkswagen (VLKAY) and Hyundai have announced plans to put self-driving technology in production cars by 2021. Intel was almost 2% lower, and Nvidia added 0.4%. IBD's Leaderboard is a curated list of potential stock market winners. "Maybe some things work perfectly with autonomous vehicles, maybe some things don't".

Ford previously partnered with ride-hailing service Lyft and pizza giant Domino's on driverless systems. Plans call for testing of packaged and goods delivery via self-driving cars to begin later in 2018.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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