Yesterday, we reported on the latest news from Ford Motor Company’s self-driving car efforts: that the automaker had invested heavily in California-based company Velodyne LiDAR, and announced plans to double the size of its Silicon Valley team, all in an effort to put a full-volume, fully-autonomous car on the road by 2021.
From the sound of it, Ford’s first self-driving car will initially serve in ride-hailing and ride-sharing capacities before ever becoming available for public purchase, but bringing such a car to market is the next logical step.
Given this news, we want to hear from you. Are you excited about the prospect of a Ford self-driving car? Would you consider owning one yourself, or would you rather it remained exclusively a fleet vehicle for providing unmanned transportation?
There is a multitude of factors to consider. For instance, it’s conceivable that Ford’s self-driving car programming could be made statistically safer than any human driver, but getting customers to trust a machine over another human (or themselves) might still prove difficult. Furthermore, the immense amount of map data required to keep a self-driving car safely on the road might prove to be a limiting factor, at least for a time; autonomous vehicles might be restricted to taxi and ride-sharing fleets because in those contexts, they will be operating in areas which they’ve already thoroughly mapped out.
That might provide some amount of comfort to those concerned about completely losing their right to drive once self-driving car models at some point down the road. On the other hand, really think about it; is more than perhaps 20% of the driving you do on a daily basis ever truly pleasurable?
Curious to know how you feel about it, we’ve put together the following poll. Feel free to expound upon your response in the Comments section below the article.