It seems that Ford, betting on electric vehicles, is abandoning the development of unmanned vehicles with a fourth level of autonomy. At least for now.
In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the company said it was not developing fully autonomous self-driving vehicles. Instead, Ford plans to limit its focus to improving and implementing Level 2 and Level 3 autonomous driving technologies in its vehicles.
The company says that “the path to fully self-driving vehicles with a profitable business model will be a long one”: “At present, Ford has decided that it makes more sense to focus on L2/L3 technologies.”
It is worth adding that so far no one is even close to achieving the fourth level of unmanned driving. Even the latest beta version of Tesla’s autonomous driving, which the company continues to improve and which is one of the best systems, is still a level 2 autopilot where the driver must keep their eyes on the road and keep their hands on the wheel.
Mercedes has become the first automaker in the United States to receive certification for vehicles with a Level 3 self-driving system. The company said its Drive Pilot system will work on “suitable highway sections and in high-density areas” and that it can “take on the task of dynamic driving at speeds up to 64 km/h.”