Ford will launch a robo-taxi service with thousands of self-driving cars in 2021. Ford’s driverless rides could be less than half the price of today’s ride-share journeys (UBER, Lyft). They want a large share of an estimated $330 billion autonomous vehicle business in 2026.
Waymo, the Google self-driving car division, has promised a commercial self-driving taxi service by the end of 2018. GM will launch commercial self-driving cars in 2019.
Ford is building fleet management software, dispatch, routing, and payment systems; a diverse group of delivery customers; and digital content and services for passengers.
Ford wants to get to tens of thousands of self-driving cars.
In Miami, Ford offered the first public rides in cars powered by Argo AI. Argo AI was a startup founded in 2017 by veterans of Google’s and Uber’s self-driving programs. In 2017, Ford invested $1 billion into Argo. Ford has been testing Argo’s autonomous vehicles for delivery in Miami and elsewhere. They have made over 1,000 deliveries of Domino’s pizzas and Postmates packages with safety drivers behind the wheel. This week, Ford announced a similar partnership with Walmart.