Ford Authority

Ford Escape Hybrid Robotaxis Can Now Be Hailed In Austin

Ford’s self-driving subsidiary – Argo AI – has been making great strides toward its goal of rolling out a full-blown global automotive commercial vehicles business in recent months, farming its tech out to other companies, opening a new test center in South Carolina, creating a panel of outsiders to tackle safety issues, ditching human safety drivers in Austin and Miami, and launching self-driving vehicles on the ride share app Lyft. Now, as it continues to inch toward total autonomy, Argo AI has also launched a fleet of Ford Escape Hybrid robotaxis in Austin, according to TechCrunch.

Argo AI has once again teamed up with Lyft to provide these Ford Escape Hybrid robotaxis for customers, making Austin just the second city to offer such a service after it launched in Miami back in December. Austin riders can hail one of these self-driving Escapes using the Lyft app for the same price as any other ride, and the app will allow those folks to unlock the doors, start the ride, and contact customer support if needed. The Escape can also tell if a rider doesn’t have their seatbelt fastened, and won’t begin the trip until they do.

For now, however, those riders won’t be alone, as two safety operators will be present in these self-driving vehicles in the event that something goes wrong. Regardless, this is just the latest expansion in a long line of them for Argo AI, which plans to roll out 1,000 self-driving vehicles on the Lyft network over the next five years.

At the moment, at least, these Ford Escape Hybrid robotaxis are only available during daytime hours, and the company didn’t provide any more exact details. It also notes that while it plans to eventually operate these vehicles without safety operators, such a move will “depend on safety performance data, an appropriate level of community acceptance, and the regulatory environment.”

We’ll have more on Argo AI soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing Ford news coverage.

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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  1. Crabbymilton

    Now gee, what can possibly go wrong here? FORD can’t seem to get traditional vehicles right and now this? Holy Crap.


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