Ford is co-investing $150M (together with Baidu) in an expensive self driving technology called Lidar from a company called Velodyne. According to BBC, Ford plans on having a fully autonomous self-driving car without a steering wheel, mass produces and on the road in 2021. Business Insider says “It’s commonly accepted in the auto industry that Lidar is the most expensive path to a fully autonomous vehicle”.
This news comes in the context of Uber’s first self driving cars that will start picking up passengers this month, in Pittsburgh. Uber recently bought Otto, a startup that compete’s with Velodyne, which just got an investment from…. Ford and Baidu. Bloomberg writes, “Trips will be free for the time being, rather than the standard local rate of $1.30 per mile. In the long run, Uber CEO says, prices will fall so low that the per-mile cost of travel, even for long trips in rural areas, will be cheaper in a driverless Uber than in a private car.” The Uber taxis will be from Volvo, and it comes with no surprise as the main company that tested Ottos’ technology was….Volvo.
Check out the Volvo self driving trucks using Otto’s technology
Here are other automakers’ plans for self-driving vehicles.