Ford CEO Jim Hackett — formerly head of the company's autonomous vehicle division — publicly announced that the company had "overestimated the arrival of autonomous vehicles" and that the vehicles, when they did arrive, their "applications will be narrow, what we call geo-fenced, because the problem is so complex."
Hackett confirmed that the company still planned to launch self-driving vehicles in 2021. The company has spent more than $4b trying to develop autonomous vehicles.
This is particularly grim news for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, who have insisted all along that they will stop losing billions of dollars once autonomous vehicles come along and they can fire all their drivers.
Even though Hackett walked back immediate hopes for autonomous vehicles, he made it clear that he believed in the technology's potential. "When we bring this thing to market, it's going to be really powerful," Hackett added.
Ford CEO says the company 'overestimated' self-driving cars [Amrita Khalid/Engadget]
(Image: Gartner Group)