Car manufacturing giant Ford is planning on raising the amount that it invests in driverless cars, with the aim of launching a vehicle that can take over from the driver when stuck in traffic.
The company is planning to treble its investment in driver-assist and autonomous car technology, and is hoping to launch a new car featuring the technology within three years.
Mark Fields, chief executive of Ford, told the Times: “Our plan is to change the way the world moves as Henry Ford did 113 years ago.
Speaking about the adding of new technology to cars, Fields added: “It’s like cruise control. Twenty years ago, 30 years ago, people were nervous about it. Now it’s not even given a second thought.”
Fields admitted that the term ‘autonomous’ was becoming overused in the motoring industry, with the possibility of a car being able to travel in any conditions without the need for human control still many years away.
Ford is also working on a button that can automatically parallel park a vehicle, along with cameras that can read road signs and relay information to the driver, helping them avoid speeding tickets.
Ford is under pressure from manufacturers such as Tesla and Google, who are both investing huge amounts in the study and production of autonomous technology. Many cars are already using elements of autonomous technology already, such as braking and steering. Ken Washington, vice-president of research at Ford, told The Times: “We have one foot in today and one foot in tomorrow.”