Self-driving software is just one element of building a safe and scalable self-driving service that consumers can trust, according to Jim Farley, president of new business, technology and strategy at the Ford Motor Company.
Writing on medium.com, Farley stressed the importance of prioritizing the customer experience.
“As we look to the initial launch of a commercial self-driving service in 2021, Ford is focused on what it will take for customers to embrace the technology, trust us enough to take a ride, and keep coming back,” Farley explained.
As part of this focus, Ford Autonomous Vehicle has hired Scott Griffith, previously the CEO of Zipcar, the car-sharing company. Griffith will lead Ford’s go-to-market strategy. He will further develop Ford’s autonomous vehicle brand and marketing, defining the customer experience and product attributes needed to deliver this vision, and develop the company’s fleet management and regional operations.
Farley also emphasized the importance of building a self-driving service that is scalable, and operating it city by city before undertaking a national launch. He likened the introduction of self-driving vehicles as “the hardest thing the auto industry has faced since people made the jump from horses to cars.”