While Ford chief executive Jim Hackett has only been in charge of the U.S. automaker for a few months, he has already spent a considerable amount of time pondering what the future of the automotive industry holds.
During a recent interview with the San Francisco Gate prior to the brand’s City of Tomorrow Symposium in the city, Hackett said fully-autonomous vehicles are still some way off and that human-operated cars will continue to exist into the future.
“We don’t know that autonomous vehicle intelligence in the future will all be delegated to a service that no one owns but everyone uses.”
“It could play a role in vehicles that people own, vehicles that aren’t supposed to crash. You’re buying the capability because of the protection it gives you. It’s also possible it could be applied in these big, disruptive ways that of course we’re not blind to, but my bet is we don’t know,” he said.
Quizzed about the commitment of Mark Fields regarding self-driving taxis by 2021, Hackett said the rise of autonomous vehicles will be much more progressed than many think.
“The nature of the romanticism by everybody in the media about how this robot works is overextended right now. It will be a progressive thing, just like computing.”
In April, Ford’s head of research struck a similar tone about the rise of self-driving vehicles, suggesting that consumers won’t get their hands on such vehicles until after the year 2025.