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Ford To Test Self-Driving Cars In Israel, Offer Robotaxi Service By End Of 2022

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Back in 2019, we reported that Ford had officially opened a research center in Israel, right in the heart of Tel Aviv’s booming technology community. The center’s purpose was to serve as a research hub for the automaker’s many tech ventures, including the development of self-driving cars. Now, roughly a year-and-a-half later, Ford is ready to begin testing its self-driving cars on Israel’s roads, according to Israeli news source Haaretz.

Ford recently obtained permission to do so from the country’s Transportation Ministry, opening the door for yet another city to be populated with Ford’s autonomous vehicles. The automaker is currently testing those vehicles in a variety of cities, including Austin, Texas, and Detroit, Michigan. The automaker’s R&D center will serve as the home base for this new venture.

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As is the case in other places around the globe, Ford’s self-driving fleet in Israel will consist of Ford Fusion models equipped with lidar, cameras, and radar. The test will provide Ford’s team with invaluable data acquired under real-world driving conditions, which can then be tweaked as needed. The R&D center is responsible for developing the algorithms that connect with the three-dimensional mapping required for self-driving cars to operate.

Ultimately, Ford wants to launch a robotaxi service in Israel and other parts of the globe by the end of 2022 as part of its autonomous vehicle services program. Originally, the plan was to launch the service in 2021, but it was delayed earlier last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The taxis will be equipped with Level 4 autonomous technology, which means that the cars are fully capable of driving themselves with no human interaction required, though a driver must still be ready to take over if needed.

We’ll have more on Ford’s autonomous driving efforts across the globe soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for non-stop Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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5 Comments

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  1. They can’t even build cars and trucks that don’t have drive shafts and engines falling out so now they want to have this technology. I shudder to think of this pending disaster.

  2. How much more ignorant do ideas have to get? Self-driving cars? What’s the point? If y’all are too lazy to drive, take the freakin’ bus.
    Sheesh people git-a-clue.

    • Well they already have frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to cater to the chronically lazy so why should cars be any different? Shouldn’t laugh though, they’ve been talking about pilotless airliners for years now. Geez what can go wrong there?

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