Ford has stopped testing technology that is completely autonomous, according to a report in the media. The automaker in the United States no longer wants to be exempt from the safety regulations that give it permission to test self-driving cars on US roads. The automaker would have been able to test up to 25,000 autonomous vehicles annually under the NHTSA exemption.
According to reports, Ford’s new strategy will focus more on developing Level 3 driver assistance systems for private vehicles rather than Level 4 automation for its commercial fleet.
Last year, Ford even terminated the Argo AI team, which is supported by VW as well. Ford was, according to reports, of the opinion that commercial vehicle driverless technology is still years away. Subsequently it would zero in on its BlueCruise driver help program.
A Level 4 system does not require human interaction, whereas Level 3 autonomous vehicles do require human presence. The Level 4 independent tech is being proposed for rideshare and Robotaxi applications. These automobiles will be used without a steering wheel, pedals, manual turn signals, or even mirrors if they are approved.
Tesla and Mercedes-Benz, in addition to Ford, are developing Level 4 autonomous technology.