At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields announced the automaker’s plans to triple investment in semi-autonomous driving features.
The Ford CEO reiterated the company’s prediction that one or more fully-autonomous passenger vehicles – whether from Ford or a competitor – will reach the market by the end of the decade. But the automaker doesn’t want to forsake more accessible, widespread semi-autonomous technologies in the meantime.
As Ford’s Mark Fields told Bloomberg: “I think [that] our view is we want to make sure that we continue to be a leader in [the autonomous] area. You know, it’s interesting; we’re not only a leader in our core business of [making] great cars and trucks, but at the same time, we’re a leader in what we call ‘semi-autonomous features,’ or ‘driver-assist features.’ Features that will keep you in your lane, that will adapt your speed on the highway.
“And we’re a leader there, and one of the announcements we’re making here is we’re actually tripling our engineering investment in those semi-autonomous features.
Still, that bolstered commitment to driver-assist technology needn’t come at the expense of fully-autonomous research; the Ford Motor Co. CEO assures that the automaker continues to put money there as well. Although Fields declined to elaborate with regard to what corporate partnerships might arise out of those efforts, he told Bloomberg that Ford will “work with a lot of different partners. So our clear goal is to make sure that we’re a leader in this space, and where it makes sense to work with others, we will; and where it makes sense to work on our own, we will.”