Ford boss expects auto pilot cars

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Bill Ford, the boss of motor company Ford, has predicted motorists will no longer have to drive for themselves in the future with the rise of the autonomous car.

Bill Ford junior has told an international conference that computerised cars could be on the road as early as 2017 with functions to help roads cope with a rise in car numbers from one billion to four billion by 2050.

Cars of the future will be able to communicate with each other to make the most efficient use of the road, warn drivers of accidents ahead and perform valet parking.

Mr Ford used the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to set out his vision, which is split into three phases.

In the near-term, or within seven years, he said cars would have car-to-car warning systems and functions for autopilot driving in slow traffic.

Between 2017 and 2025, Mr Ford predicted semi-autonomous driving with greater interaction between cars while beyond 2025, he said he expected to see fully autonomous vehicles.

“Cars are becoming mobile communications platforms. Right now, there are a billion computing devices in the form of individual vehicles out on our roads,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.

“They’re largely unconnected from one another and the network. We’ll increasingly take advantage of the car as a rolling collection of sensors to reduce congestion and help prevent accidents.

“I’m confident that we will see many of these advances on the road in this midterm period (between 2017 and 2025) because the early versions are already being designed, and in most cases, tested.”

At next week’s Geneva motor show, Ford will unveil its B-Max family car, which features technology to alert emergency services in an accident. It will go on sale in the UK in September.



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