Mitigating auto accidents is key: Self-driving cars in the works at Ford

Automobiles are constantly changing. At the turn of the century, Ford Motor Co. developed the Model T which became a staple in almost every American household. The car came equipped with a four-cylinder engine with a top speed of around 40 mph. Today, there are vehicles available to consumers that can travel up to 200 mph. Unfortunately, along with these technological advances there come risks.

However, one initiative recently proposed by Bill Ford Jr., Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Co. and great-grandson of the company’s founder, aims to help mitigate motor vehicle accidents that are increasing across the country and around the world.

At a conference just last month, Ford stated that there is a huge transformation in the company’s vehicle designs that is about to take place. The auto company is on the “brink of monumental changes,” he said.

Ford’s plan

During the annual Milken Global Conference, Ford indicated that colossal changes are approaching. Future vehicles will likely come equipped with hydrogen fuel technology. And, he said, as electric vehicles continue to become more popular, hybrid drivetrains will soon pop up across the country.

However, another huge initiative addressed by Ford was his company’s intention to produce and distribute self driving cars-and sooner than many likely guess.

Over the next five years, Ford indicated that more and more self driving functions will be added to newly manufactured vehicles rolling off Ford assembly lines.

The push

Ford’s new plan was put forth to address the population, infrastructure, and environmental challenges today and to tackle the increase in auto accidents caused by distracted driving behaviors like texting while driving or the use of GPS navigation systems.

It seems the initiative, however, came about potentially as a result of the first steps taken by several legislatures. Last year, the California legislature gave the green light and passed a law allowing self-driving vehicles on the state’s roadways. Thereafter, Florida and Nevada followed suit.

It’s likely many more states will take action to adapt to the changes in vehicle technology and pass similar laws. And, as more and more states allow for the use of autonomous vehicles on the roadways, Ford and other vehicle manufactures will likely expedite the development of technology that will someday reduce or eliminate driver errors that are at the heart of auto accidents.

It remains to be seen just what technology Ford will develop in the years to come. The company has yet to any release specifics.