Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Ford CEO's Biggest Concern About Self-Driving Cars Is Something That Will Obviously Happen

Ford CEO Mark Fields (Photo: AP)
Ford CEO Mark Fields (Photo: AP)

If there’s one certainty about autonomous vehicles, it’s that they’ll save lives and also kill people in new ways. It’s the latter that concerns Ford CEO Mark Fields about the technology’s future success.

Advertisement

According to Inverse, Fields said at a recent panel decision with two New York City transportation officials that his biggest AV fear is that auto companies will move too quick and roll out self-driving cars too soon. From Inverse:

“The one fear I have is if anybody in this industry tries to jump the gun and maybe get a beta-test product out there that — God forbid — has an event, an accident or something, that’s going to cause people to pause,” Fields said at the Ford Mobility Summit, a panel discussion with two New York City Transportation officials.

Advertisement

Of course, the first self-driving car fatality already happened in Florida last year, when Tesla owner Joshua Brown died after crashing into a tractor-trailer. So it’s somewhat strange that Fields has raised alarm about something that’s going to happen, and indeed will happen again.

Now, Fields isn’t staking out a stance akin to Tesla founder Elon Musk, who equated not backing AV technology with supporting vehicular manslaughter. But it emphasizes what’s an obvious point: As it stands, a majority of drivers don’t trust self-driving vehicles, and we’re probably not willing to spend the money that’s needed to support the technology.

So while Ford has ambitions to roll out self-driving cars to the public within the next decade, Fields’ remarks inadvertently reinforced that we have no idea what’s to come of AV technology in the coming years, and it’ll likely wind up being far-less expansive than anyone now expects.

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Fields said at a recent panel decision with two New York City transportation officials that his biggest AV fear is that auto companies will move too quick and roll out self-driving cars too soon.

This. I totally agree with this because I think automakers have been rushing into it. Look how fast we have jumped from simple radar based cruise control with auto braking to full on autonomous in the last few years. Its been fast and its getting faster. Not to mention the majority of the public still doesn’t trust the tech, and it doesn’t seem like automakers have really made any attempts to even see if people are willing to accept or even want this technology.