Ford To Test Self-Driving Vehicles In Washington, D.C.


Ford Motor Company announced that they will expand testing of autonomous vehicles to the nation's capital, becoming the first automaker to test AVs in Washington, D.C.


As the world’s technology landscape continues to change, Ford is looking to build AVs that are safe, reliable and effective, which has prompted them to test self-driving vehicles in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Miami and now Washington, D.C.


Sherif Marakby, the CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, announced in a blog post that Ford will establish a self-driving vehicle business in the nation's capital that “is responsive to the needs of the city and its residents.”


Safety has been at the core of Ford’s development of AVs, as Ford wants to build trust with members of the public who may not be sold on the safety of self-driving vehicles.


Marakby said Ford will be working with local officials in Washington, D.C. to ensure that both testing and the deployment of an AV commercial service will be safe for district residents. He also noted that as Ford lobbies for legislation that establishes a framework for safe autonomous vehicle use, the presence of AVs in the capital will help lawmakers understand AVs from new, firsthand experience.


The CEO of Ford’s autonomous arm also expressed how the new technology will usher in new, unique job opportunities. Marakby said that Ford will help train D.C.-area residents for a variety of different jobs, including infrastructure-related careers and auto technician jobs.


“Acting now in preparation for the future is necessary so that we aren’t caught flat-footed as autonomous technology gains mainstream adoption,” Marakby said in his post. “Part of that means making sure all residents have the chance to learn new skills, and we are committed to helping identify new jobs for communities as self-driving vehicles take to the streets.”


Marakby concluded by describing D.C. as an “ideal” location for the Blue Oval to continue to build on their existing AV technology.


“This technology holds the potential to change our world far beyond our nation’s capital, but D.C. is an ideal place to continue building the foundation for a great service?—?one that helps free up our roads, ease congestion and improve people’s access to the services they need,” he said.


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