Ford denies it is in the slow self-driving lane

Ford Motor Co may be taking a cautious approach to its autonomous driving program, but its chairman denied claims that US vehicle manufacturers were falling behind their peers.

Bill Ford, at an auto technology conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday when asked about market loss, said he disagreed.

“Our self-driving system, Argo, is extremely competitive. On the part of technology, we are right there much better in terms of development time, but we want to take care of it before we allow people in these vehicles.”

In Israel for the first time to launch an innovation center, Ford said the time for self-driving vehicle marketing was unclear given that security issues should be solved.

“We have to be absolutely sure that these are ready for excellent times under all conditions,” he said at the EcoMotion conference.

The car maker is working with several Israeli self-directed technology firms such as Mobileye’s Intel unit.

Ford told Reuters that ultimately, self-propelled cars will come down to customers’ trust.

“It’s unknown when the perception is good enough to be ready for mass-customer approval, and that’s the part I want to make sure we’re too happy with before we start,” Ford said.

After Ford bought Argo AI, a self-drive-based company headquartered in Pittsburgh in 2017, the company has aimed at providing autonomous vehicle services to numerous partners, who in turn would offer their customers under the names of their brands.

But at the expense of developing autonomous cars in recent years, the company and other car makers have sought alliances and foreign investors./

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