Ford delays the launch of its self-driving robotaxi service till 2022

Ford delays the launch of its self-driving robotaxi service till 2022

We’re sorry to say that your weirdly particular dream of being chauffeured round in a driverless Ford Fusion is now on maintain.


If you happen to had been actually wanting ahead to Ford’s rollout of an autonomous “robotaxi” fleet in 2021 — that is a extremely particular kink, by the way in which — then I’ve some lamentable information for you, pal. It is getting pushed again by a 12 months.

Why? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in fact. Ford issued an announcement (PDF) on Tuesday outlining the explanations for its resolution to push the service again to 2022:

Given the challenges of the present enterprise surroundings, in addition to the necessity to consider the long-term impression of COVID-19 on buyer behaviors, Ford made the choice to shift the launch of its self-driving providers to 2022. Understanding buyer conduct is a critically essential a part of constructing a brand new mobility service constructed round belief and making individuals’s lives simpler.

If that reads as code for “most likely not the perfect time to ask individuals to get into random and largely unsupervised vehicles,” you then’re possible not removed from the reality. Have a look at the difficulty that Lyft and Uber are going through through the pandemic, and you will have some thought of what Ford could be up in opposition to. 

Ford’s consultant continues, “Taking the time to analysis adjustments in buyer behaviors gives Ford with a chance to guage and doubtlessly change our go-to-market technique to fulfill new shopper calls for. As a part of this analysis, we additionally wish to be sure that the shopper expertise we’re constructing provides individuals peace of thoughts figuring out they, or their packages, are in a secure and guarded surroundings inside our automobiles.”

Ford additionally introduced a $2 billion loss for the second quarter, and that its luxurious model Lincoln is canceling a deliberate Rivian-based SUV. That is not to say that Ford’s hanging up its hat completely, although. It nonetheless intends to comply with by with the launches of each its first built-to-purpose electrical automobile — the Mustang Mach E — and its reimagined Bronco SUV.

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