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Ford abandons public testing of level-four-capable autonomous vehicles due to their "near-term" unprofitability

Ford has ended its campaign seeking legal approval to test level four autonomous vehicles (AVs) on public roads in the US, citing the long-term unprofitability of the technology.

A letter sent by the firm to the US’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requests the withdrawal of a petition to allow it to test up to 2500 AVs per year.

The decision to withdraw from testing fully autonomous vehicles was made after Ford closed its Argo AI venture. 

The letter said: “As evidenced by the shutdown of our ADS partner Argo AI, we believe the road to fully autonomous vehicles, at scale, with a profitable business model, will be a long one.

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