According to statements released by Ford CEO Jim Hackett on Thursday, the company plans on introducing autonomous vehicles to a test market in 2018. Although specific details with regards to, where the test would take place was not revealed after the company reported a strong third-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations.
Ford plans to bring an autonomous vehicle to market in 2021. The company seems to be on a pursuit to shake of the image of being left behind, in the transitioning from driver-aided cars to self driving and electric cars. Ford is also investing $1 billion over the next five years in autonomous driving technology company Argo AI. Hackett on Wednesday said staffing at Argo had just reached a “high-water mark.”
Hackett also mentioned the fact that, autonomous vehicles could lead Ford into new businesses. For example, Ford said in August it would partner with Domino’s Pizza to test the autonomous technology on pizza delivery routes in Michigan. On Thursday’s call, Hackett said partnerships such as this can reduce Ford’s costs in developing the technology and allow the company to enter new industries.