- Ford is shifting its priorities away from growing fully autonomous vehicles.
- CEO Jim Farley mentioned growth of the automobiles at scale was “a long way off.”
- The shift signifies that Ford is closing down Argo AI, a robo-taxi startup it collectively backed with VW.
Ford is placing the brakes on its efforts to develop fully autonomous self-driving vehicles.
“Profitable, fully autonomous vehicles at scale are a long way off,” CEO Jim Farley mentioned in a assertion printed alongside the automaker’s third-quarter earnings on Wednesday. While the firm is optimistic that Level 4 superior driver techniques (ADAS) could be developed in the future, Farley mentioned Ford “won’t necessarily have to create that technology ourselves.”
A car with Level 4 ADAS functionality is taken into account to be fully autonomous and can navigate most street conditions with out the want for human help. Automakers, namely Tesla, have been racing to develop the capability. However, it’s but to be achieved commercially.
Ford had initially meant to have achieved Level 4 ADAS by 2021, however Farley mentioned that “things have changed.”
The shift signifies that Ford will wind down Argo AI, a robo-taxi service the firm jointly backed with European auto giant Volkswagen Group. Ford is writing off a pretax cost of $2.7 billion for its funding in the firm.
Argo announced as recently as May that it was rolling out its ride-hailing community of autonomous taxis to two cities: Miami, Florida, and Austin, Texas.
“We’re asking ‘What’s best for customers?’ in everything we do,” Farley mentioned. The firm will as an alternative focus on its efforts on degree 2 and three automation. “It’s mission-critical for Ford to develop great and differentiated L2+ and L3 applications that at the same time make transportation even safer,” Farley mentioned.
Ford plans to rent some Argo AI engineers to work on its Level 2 — which incorporates its BlueCruise hands-free system and Lincoln ActiveGlide — and Level 3 efforts.
Ford didn’t instantly reply to Insider’s request for additional remark, which got here exterior of ordinary enterprise hours.
Ford is the newest automaker to reveal its quarterly outcomes. Despite posting revenues of $39.4 billion throughout the third quarter of 2022, the firm made a web lack of $827 million, after taking a $2.7 billion non-cash pretax impairment on its funding in Argo AI.
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