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Ford Planning to Launch 1st Driverless Car by 2021

Initial focus: ride-sharing services like Uber, and delivery companies.

by on Aug.17, 2016

Ford recently began testing autonomous vehicle prototypes on public roads in Silicon Valley.

It has become conventional wisdom within the transportation industry that the introduction of autonomous vehicles will be a step-by-step process, starting with so-called “driver assistance” systems and only eventually reaching the point where cars and trucks will be capable of driving entirely on their own.

Ford Motor Co. says it is heading in a very different direction, however, the Detroit automaker revealing plans to put its first completely driverless vehicle into production by 2021. The model it is working on, global product development chief Raj Nair tells TheDetroitBureau.com, won’t even have a steering wheel or pedals.

We'll Do the Driving!

“We don’t think the path to true autonomy is through a step-by-step, incremental process,” Nair said during a telephone interview. Having a driver sit behind the wheel, waiting to take over in an emergency is actually a dangerous solution, he explained because, over time, “You lose driver awareness. You lose the ability for a human to respond in a timely manner.”

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Ford Warns Some 2013 Escape Owners to Park Ute Due to Fire Risk

Second recall in a week of new crossover-utility vehicle.

by on Jul.19, 2012

The new 2013 Ford Escape faces its second recall in just a week -- this one affecting 11,500 vehicles.

Ford Motor Co. is advising owners of an estimated 11,500 new Escape crossover-utility vehicles to park the vehicle until they can be repaired by dealers due to a potential fuel line leak that could cause the vehicle to catch fire.

Ford’s all-new 2013 Escape crossover utility vehicle may have scored well with consumers but not as well with federal safety regulators after the Detroit maker announced the second recall involving the new CUV in less than a week.  Earlier versions of the Escape are also under investigation due to concerns about potentially sticky accelerator assemblies.

The latest Escape recall specifically targets new 2013 models equipped with the maker’s 1.6-liter engine.  Other versions are not involved in the recall – in which Ford takes the unusual step of asking owners to not drive the vehicle until repairs can be made.  Dealers will provide a loaner vehicle at no charge and handle transporting the vehicles to their service bays for repairs.

Be In the Know!

Unlike most recalls where makers may take as much as a month to notify owners and begin to make repairs, Ford is urging immediate action, according to Ray Nevi, the assistant director of the maker’s safety operations. “Our intensive investigation and testing has identified the area of concern and we are moving as quickly as possible to repair vehicles for our customers. In the meantime, it is extremely important that affected customers not ignore this recall and immediately contact their dealer.”

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