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>> Ford, a stalwart of the big three auto makers in Detroit, is claiming more territory here in Silicon Valley.>> It's now clear that the next decade is gonna be defined by the automation of the automobile.>> I'm Alexandria Sage for Reuters, and I cover the future of automotive technology.
I'm here in Palo Alto at Ford's research and development lab where on Tuesday they made a big announcement on autonomous vehicles. What they're doing is making a fully driverless car by 2021. That will be used in ride service applications. Picture this, a car with no steering wheel, no gas pedal, no brake pedal comes to pick you up to take you on your ride.
That's the future that Ford envisions in 2021. A couple years later they say you can maybe buy one of these cars. Ford announced here an investment in Velodyne, the Silicon Valley lidar maker. Lidar is essential to make a self driving car drive by itself. It gives you a 360 view of the car when strategically placed outside the car.
But here's the problem, there's a lot of competition in this space. Silicon Valley is already filled with every other automaker trying to push the boundaries of this technology. The regulatory environment has been slower to catch up to this idea. And thirdly, there have already been high profile incidents with semiautonomous vehicles on the road.
Which begs the question, will things only get more chaotic when you have full autonomy? It's a little bit of marketing at work here because the time frame is quite similar to what other automakers are saying, is the time frame for these kind of cars.