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Ford VP Of Research Predicts Autonomous-Car Sales By 2031

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Ford Vice President of Research and Advanced Engineering Ken Washington doesn’t think that fully-autonomous cars will start making their way into consumers’ hands until five to ten years after the automaker introduces its first self-driving vehicle for ride-share in 2021.

“It’s really hard to guess and predict the pace of the technology,” he said today at the 2017 SAE World Congress Experience. “Our current view is the adoption rates will be relatively gradual.”

Mr. Washington’s projection is a bit more pessimistic than that of Ford CEO Mark Fields, reports Automotive News. Fields has previously said that Ford would likely sell a self-driving vehicle to consumers by about 2025. Both agree, however, that the sale of autonomous vehicles to private individuals is inevitable.

“This is not science fiction. This is not a research project. This is something we’re going to make happen, and others will, too,” Washington said. “The revolution in computing is making things possible that was previously unfathomable. We need to be imagining these kinds of futures.”

Just earlier, we reported that an annual study from Navigant Research concluded Ford is currently the overall leader in vehicle autonomy, based on both its ability to implement the technology, and to profit from it.

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Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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