Ford: Aiming to achieve volume production of driverless vehicles in 2021 for ride-sharing

Establishing a business model of mobility services as a new source of revenue



  In September 2016, Ford outlined its mid- to long-term growth plan. The automaker will aggressively expand into the areas of electrification, autonomous driving, and mobility services, and at the same time fortify its core businesses (passenger vehicles, trucks). This report will introduce the OEM's plans to enter new fields.

  According to Ford, the shift "from a society of car ownership to a society where ownership and sharing coexist" is progressing rapidly. The automaker will respond to this with its vision to become "an auto and a mobility company." From now on, rather than just focusing on how many cars it sells, Ford will also give attention to what kind of mobility services it offers.

  Although the market size of the traditional car market globally is USD 2.3 trillion (JPY 265 trillion when USD 1 = JPY 115), the size of markets like mobility services that Ford has not yet entered amount to USD 5.4 trillion (JPY 620 trillion) and is expected to be a significant source of revenue from now on. The automaker's policy for its mobility services is to focus on cars, while covering everything from bikes (electric assisted bicycle), to shuttles (on-demand service of minibus with a riding capacity of 10 people or less) and buses.

  As for technology, Ford will fortify its electrification and autonomous driving capabilities. The company predicts that the market will be divided into approximately 3 segments consisting of internal combustion engine vehicles, HVs, and zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) in 2030 due to technological advancement and cost reductions for electrification.

  Regarding autonomous driving, Ford is planning for annual production of approximately 100,000 units of fully autonomous, SAE level 4-capable (full autonomy in defined areas) driverless vehicles for ride-sharing. This is expected to have a major impact as the cost of the driver, which is the largest for ride sharing, will become zero. Ford predicts that 20% of U.S. car sales will be autonomous vehicles in 2030.

Related reports:
BMW's Car Sharing Service: Planning expansion to 10 cities, starting with 3 U.S. cities in 2016 (December 2016)
U.S. NHTSA: Announcement of guidance for autonomous vehicles (November 2016)


Autonomous driving test
Autonomous driving test vehicle based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid (Picture: Ford)
test operation during
Test vehicle conducting a test operation during snowfall (Picture: Ford)