Ford Looking To Airline Industry For Insight Into Autonomous Vehicle Business

In a future where cars will be able to drive themselves without any need for human assistance, companies like Ford might end up operating more like an airline than a traditional carmaker.

Rest assured, this isn’t about taking to the skies, but rather understanding how to maximize the time these cars spend on the road, as well as understanding how to sell seats with regards to ride-hailing and delivery services.

“Autonomous vehicles are a per-mile business, not an ownership business,” said Sherif Marakby, CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles. “It’s the same thing for the airline industry. You make money with high utilization. Your fixed costs don’t change much.”

Marakby was in Washington earlier this month, speaking about the aviation industry’s imprint on Ford plants, future delivery projects and future plans that would incorporate walking robots. The Blue Oval also wants to start a commercial business using autonomous-driving technology in 2021.

Also read: Ford And VW Finalizing Deal On Electric And Autonomous Car Joint Development

While the Ford exec didn’t specify which airlines he talked with, he did say that their requirements are similar to those of a business that would revolve around autonomous tech, reports Autonews Europe.

“We’ve learned a lot of things we’ve already incorporated into our model about utilization, and that’s what drives the business,” he stated. “We are designing our first car to go hundreds of thousands of miles in a shorter period of time, and it’s the same as airlines using expensive planes and refurbishing them every few years.”

He also added that Ford has analyzed its Escape hybrids going back 15 years in order to see what can go wrong on them – not in a typical 150,000 miles but in a half a million miles.

“That’s what’s useful for us,” he said.

more photos...
US Could Allow Future EVs To Have Multiple Sound Options For Their Pedestrian Warning Systems

Automakers have come up with weird sounds for electric vehicles, but consumers might have options in the future.

This Wild Mercedes-Benz Le Mans Concept Is Futuristic And Sleek

A Mercedes concept for the year 2040 has us confident endurance racing will remain exciting for decades to come.

2017 Ford Explorer Recall: Keep Your Hands To Yourself To Avoid Injury

The safety campaign counts 338,332 units of the 2017 Explorer that might have sharp edges on their powered seat frames.

Accidental PIT Maneuver Leads To Rollover Crash

A not so subtle reminder to check your surrounding before changing lanes.

Chevrolet Reportedly Developing A Hardcore Silverado To Tackle The Ford F-150 Raptor

The truck will reportedly have an assortment of off-road focused goodies, but not huge horsepower ratings.

Gas Prices Set To Soar As Attack On Saudi Arabia Knocks Out 5% Of Global Oil Production

The attack has seen brent crude futures jump by the highest numbers seen since the Gulf War.

‘Ford v Ferrari’ Revs Its Engine For Nov. 15 Premiere With New Trailer

The epic showdown between Ford and Ferrari in Le Mans comes to the silver screen, and critics have, so far, nothing but good words about it.

2020 Corvette Stingray Looks Sensational In Zeus Bronze

GM first introduced this paint color, albeit with a different name, on the Cadillac ATS-V and CTS-V in late 2018.

Supermarket Employees Teach Driver Who Parked In Cart Aisle A Hilarious Lesson

Images of the poorly-parked Peugeot 208 went viral on Facebook.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series Promises To Be One Wild Track-Focused Beast

The Black Series moniker is about to make a return in the most agile street-legal AMG yet.