Currently reading: Ford to test autonomous technology in UK next year
Ford will release a fully autonomous car with no steering wheel or pedals for commercial use that will reach the UK after 2021
Doug Revolta Autocar
News
2 mins read
19 August 2016

Ford will begin testing its mass-market commercial autonomous car across Europe and the UK next year, the manufacturer has confirmed to Autocar.

The car is likely to be based on the Ford Mondeo, without a steering wheel or pedals, and available with different types of powertrains – including hybrid and EV variants – depending on the market.

Ford stressed that it wants to ensure its technology works in all markets. Testing is already underway in the US, which is the centre for the development of this project, and cars will be on American roads in 2021.

With European testing not starting until next year, the technology will roll out on the continent after it does in the US, but it’s not yet decided when exactly that will be.

"The test vehicle is based on the Mondeo, and it's the most flexible platform," said Thomas Lukaszewicz, Ford's European automated driving manager.

"For car sharing, I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate body than Mondeo. But the final decision of what it will be has not been made.

"Our system is capable of every powertrain," he added. "We are flexible on that. Urban areas can be electric, for example, but we need to see what is appropriate."

The Blue Oval is still looking for business partners to join this autonomous car-sharing venture and is in the process of talking to interested parties. Volvo has recently partnered with Uber to develop driverless car-sharing technology.

There are still a number of legal issues that Ford must consider to make its fully autonomous car a reality. However, the manufacturer told Autocar it remains confident of reaching a resolution and getting it on the roads, and that the response from governments and insurance companies has been broadly positive.

California, however, has previously stated that it will not allow cars without steering wheels and pedals on its roads. But Ford says California has been one of the most supportive cities, suggesting the city could rethink its stance on autonomous cars.

The manufacturer also hinted that the technology could potentially make its way into other Ford products in the future, such is the flexibility of the autonomous platform. The electric Model E line-up could be a candidate for the technology.

There is not yet any indication what the finished vehicle will cost, or what numbers will be produced.

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ou701 22 August 2016

What?

It's inevitable the autonomous car will replace driving cars as we know it. What I don't understand is why anyone who reads Autocar is looking forward to this day.
Peter Cavellini 21 August 2016

got to start somewhere!?

I get what most posters are saying,but,wouldn't it be great when you've got a few hundred miles to get to your destination if the Car actually drove itself?,it would take a lot of the stress away.Yes i agree there will be accidents,no system is perfect,they're not human enough yet,but we have to face the facts that there are more and more Cars on the Roads every year,grid lock might become reality,so letting Cars decide how,where,when might have to be looked at,as to who controls that,well, you tell me!
mgbv8man 21 August 2016

why?

Has Ford not watched Wall-e - will all Ford drivers (and everyone else) become like the humans in the film - unable to move without machines?