Ford's Promised to Mass-Produce Driverless Cars Without Steering Wheels in 2021

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Ford has put its neck on the line and said it will roll out autonomous cars without pedals or steering wheels in 2021.

The company says they’ll be specifically designed for “commercial mobility services”, which could mean they’ll be introduced as part of an Uber-style ride-sharing service. Sounds part terrifying, part thrilling.

On the one hand, what’s a taxi journey without the classic “Busy night..?” conversation? On the other, just imagine being drunk off your head in one of them.

Ford isn’t interested in building Level Two or Level Three autonomous cars, where humans can take control when necessary. It’s instead focusing on Level Four autonomy, where the car is able to do everything itself in a particular setting -- cities, in this case.

Tesla’s Autopilot feature, which has attracted plenty of criticism following the death of a driver back in June, is an example of Level Two automation, where a human driver is still required to monitor the car at all times.

Here's a guide to driverless car testing in the UK. [BBC]