Austin Roads Ready to Test Ford's Self-Driving CarMobility
Austin's roads are preparing to test Ford's self-driving cars after the automaker has selected the city to launch a commercial autonomous vehicle business by 2021.
Ford and autonomous driving technology developer Argo have started mapping the city in November for data validation and actual testing of Ford's Fusion Hybrid self-driving cars by early 2020, according to CNBC.
The first self-driving vehicles will include safety drivers, or "test specialists," who will monitor the cars as they self-drive.
Sherif Marakby, CEO of Ford's autonomous vehicle unit, said Austin was selected because of the city's willingness to work with the company as well as its growing downtown population with increased congestion.
"With increased traffic, we think we can solve some issues and work with the city on understanding what the challenges are in the city," Marakby said during a conference call.
But Ford's cars will hardly be the first computer-driven vehicles in Austin.
Austin has already hosted the testing for Google's self-driving Lexus vehicle in 2015. The city was also home to the first truly autonomous car ride for a resident, which demonstrated how powerful the tech could be for people with disabilities, the Austin Business Journal wrote.
SourcesFord to test self-driving cars on Austin's streets