Ford Authority

Ford CEO Jim Hackett: ‘There’s No Dumb Cars In The Future’

Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Hackett says the automaker is striving to build the “iPhone” of self-driving cars – that is, an autonomous vehicle that provides real value and pleasure to users, without forcing the tech down consumers’ throats.

“The evolution of [autonomous vehicles] will be the way the computer was,” Hackett said Thursday at a Business Leaders for Michigan summit, The Detroit News reports. The iPhone is great “not just [because of] the power of the computing. It’s the human-ness. [Steve] Jobs interpreted the computer science in the way humans would love to use it,” he said. “That’s what Ford wants to make.”

His comments were in line with some he made back in May at the Michigan Council of Women in Technology’s Executive Connection Summit. There, he said that autonomous vehicles must be designed to “augment” the human experience in order to “unlock the power of humanity.” Months later, at Ford’s City of Tomorrow event in San Francisco last August, the Ford Motor Company CEO reminded those in attendance that it’s all about the human user. “We don’t need the robot to get around,” he said.

Ford’s commitment to crafting an autonomous vehicle with a focus on the user experience could mean that the company is not the first to market with the new technology. The automaker has already said that it has no interest in building any high-level partly-autonomous vehicles, as the issue of how to rouse the driver and get them to resume control when needed is dangerous, and solving it would be virtually as difficult as creating a fully-autonomous car. Ford, its CEO says, is taking the long view.

That said, Hackett seemed to suggest Thursday that the days of the unconnected, human-driven vehicle are numbered.

“Ford’s future is not about giving up the car,” he said. “But there’s no dumb cars in the future. There can’t be. We have to evolve these things to be ever smarter.”

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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  1. Roy Medley

    Unless their is a jump forward in reliability by Ford, who will purchase an autonomous car from them? When they can’t build a car where the steering wheel doesn’t fall off, or the door latch doesn’t fail (such simple technologies) who is going to trust that they can build an autonomous car that won’t fail disasterously. I say this as a person who has bought only Ford products since the introduction of the Taurus.

  2. vbondjr1

    There are no dumb cars now. Just dumb drivers and dumb CEOs who think that autonomous cars are the way of the future. FAIL! FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL!!!!!!!!!!! Cars are meant to be driven, they are meant to have gasoline engines and they are meant to be controlled by humans, not themselves. Did any of you morons watch I-robot? Transformers? Terminator? Etc? Those movies were meant to show you reasons NOT to build artificially intelligent machines. The problem is we as humans are so lazy we don’t even want to drive ourselves around! Maybe y’all should watch movies like “Over the Hedge!” even before you get to movies like the Matrix or the ones i mentioned above. STOP building autonomous crap and A.I crap! leave it alone! let us Dumb humans have our Dumb cars and we’ll all live longer.


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