The craze around self-driving automobiles has brought the interest of a lot of car manufacturers. One of the interested parties is Ford Motors, the company will be testing its new set of SDA units next year. The automaker said on Thursday that it would test self-driving prototypes in various pilot programs with partners such as Lyft.
Bear in mind that this doesn’t mean they are rushing production in said units. Ford still doesn’t have any kind of scheduled release for public SDA units until 2021. Also, while Lyft might be partnering with Ford in order to accommodate tests, they are quite unsure about whether or not to partner up or make their own on-demand transport service.
Ford also would test new business models that involve its SDA units, including the movement of people and goods. The plan consists of shifting production of a future battery electric vehicle to Mexico to free up capacity at its Flat Rock, Michigan, plant to build the self-driving vehicles in 2021, according to spokesman Alan Hall.
The Flat Rock plant, as consequence, will be having a harder investment and produce more jobs. Ford is boosting investment to $900 million from $700 million and adding 850 jobs. Both of the vehicles are planned to run on the next-generation Ford Focus lineup.
The electric vehicle, whose more-advanced battery system will enable a driving range of more than 300 miles, will go into production in 2020 at Ford’s Cuatitlan plant, in Mexico. Suppliers say they will also build a new hybrid crossover vehicle around the same time.
All the while, the self-driving vehicle proposal from Flat Rock will have a hybrid system. In other words, they are going to be using a gasoline engine and an electric motor at the same time. This is in accordance to the latest laws that have been prohibiting the use of pure gasoline engines.