Ford CEO Promises ‘Hands-Free, Eyes-Free’ L3 Autonomous Driving Within Years

June 26, 2024 – Ford Motor Company’s CEO, Jim Farley, has revealed that the automaker is set to introduce L3-level autonomous driving technology to consumers in the coming years, enabling drivers to take their hands and eyes off the road while driving on highways.

L3 autonomy signifies that a vehicle can operate independently to some extent, without requiring constant monitoring from the driver, although the driver may still need to intervene in specific situations. While Elon Musk of Tesla has long promised to deliver this feature, Mercedes-Benz has already taken the lead in introducing a similar system. If Farley’s predictions come true, Ford could potentially surpass Tesla and seize the initiative in the L3 autonomous driving sector.

“We are very close to achieving this goal,” Farley stated in an interview with Bloomberg Television on May 31. “Currently, our prototypes can already accomplish this, but the challenge ahead is how to make it affordable for mass production. L3 autonomous technology will allow you to experience ‘hands-free, eyes-free’ driving on the highway. Your car will then transform into a mobile office where you can conduct conference calls and more.”

However, this cutting-edge technology will not be widespread immediately. Even after its official launch, Farley anticipates that the feature will initially be limited to very specific scenarios. “We believe this technology will only be usable in clear weather conditions,” Farley noted. “Heavy rain and other severe weather conditions can make high-speed driving above 80 miles per hour challenging.”

Interestingly, Farley did not mention the cost of this new technology, leading to speculation that it might adopt a subscription-based pricing model.

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