Ford Motor Co. plans to release its first fully-autonomous vehicle to the market by 2021, but consumers will not be able to buy or finance one for personal use, according to a report released today detailing the OEM’s efforts in self-driving tech.
Earlier this year, Miami was announced as the home and “proving grounds” for Ford’s self-driving technology business and today’s 44-page report details its efforts to gain consumer trust and how the program will be rolled out.
“You’ll be able to experience these vehicles through multiple means, including commercial fleets in mobility services such as ride-hailing and goods delivery,” the report states. “We believe we can offer the best value to our customers by providing the technology through a fleet service, similar to the way Ford currently offers specially-engineered vehicles for taxi and police fleets.”
The vehicle will be fully self-driving and won’t have a steering wheel or foot pedals, according to the report.
Ford is actively involved in mobility solutions for the area, having launched pilot programs with the delivery service Postmates and Domino’s Pizza earlier this year. Two-person safety operations teams must be behind the wheel to complete deliveries using the autonomous tech.
Additionally, Ford is “simulating the self-driving experience” by having drivers dress in “seat suits” in order to gauge how consumers will react to the technology when they perceive no driver is in control. Lights are also on display on the front windshield to notify pedestrians that the car is yielding.
Since the cars will not be sold in dealerships, it’s unclear how Ford Motor Credit Corp. will be involved from a financing perspective.
This week, Ford Credit provided a $14.5 million loan for the construction of a Lincoln dealership in Miami-Dade County Florida, according to the South Florida Business Journal.
“Ford Credit is a lender that provides inventory, construction, and other financing to dealerships,” a spokeswoman told Auto Finance News. “Those financing arrangements are private, and we do not comment on them.”
Construction of the dealership broke ground this week at 11020 Southwest 186th St in Cutler Bay, Florida, according to Martin Case Construction.Like This Post