While the majority of carmakers are set to pair their fully-autonomous vehicles with all-electric powertrains, Ford will initially go another way.
Speaking to Automotive News, Ford’s president of global markets Jim Farley said it makes more economic sense to use self-driving hybrids when verifying the business model of autonomous technology.
“We think what's important is to verify the business model. The most important thing is that we execute well. We don't want to get ahead of our skis.
“Anytime you're not carrying goods and people, you're losing money. The most important thing is uptime and profitability. What we see is the [hybrid] is a much better cost-of-ownership model,” Farley said.
Whereas General Motors is testing and verifying its autonomous technologies in various U.S. cities through a ride-hailing service, Ford will initially roll out a fleet of autonomous vehicles designed for commercial purposes, including package delivery.
“We have to have a more diverse revenue model than ride-hailing.
“I think in this world, you can hear all sorts of examples of getting out there and building a platform, but the business model — how this all comes together — is very important for us. We want to be production-ready, commercial-ready from day one,” Farley said.