Ford Plans to Release New Self-Driving Cars without Brake Pedal or Steering Wheel in 2021



In a recent report, the American carmaker showed their approach on how to develop better self-driving vehicles. / Photo by


To manufacture a fully autonomous car is a highly challenging task for automakers, due to its vulnerabilities in emergencies. But Ford’s current safety plan for self-driving cars could result in such a product.

In a recent report, the American carmaker showed their approach on how to develop better self-driving vehicles. They noted that the element of trust should be the center of development of self-driving vehicles, instead of technology.

“Ford has spent the past century earning trust by designing and manufacturing safe, quality vehicles at high volumes that meet the needs of people around the world. In our pursuit of new mobility solutions, including self-driving vehicles, we understand the importance of earning the same level of trust. That’s why we’re sharing our approach to the development of the technology in this Voluntary Safety Self-Assessment Report,” Ford stated.

The company is designing a car model expected to be released in 2021 that runs a platform by Argo AI, a company specialized in artificial intelligence and robotics. Ford partnered with Argo AI to develop the Virtual Driver System in every self-driving vehicles they support.

The center aspects of the self-driving car technology revolve in three main components:

1. Safety Processes: By default, the vehicles will the necessary components to make autonomous driving safe. But the company will implement three phases of training for safety operators to cover manual driving training and calibration, advanced driver training and autonomy, and public road autonomous functionality, to boost safe driving experience.

2. Reliable Design: The components will apply a design to ensure system reliability. The Virtual Driver System includes sensors, algorithms, 3D maps, and precise inertial measurement systems. While the Autonomous Vehicle Platform includes a health monitoring system, backup autonomous driving system, electrical power systems, and redundant braking and steering systems.

3. Consumer Experience: To create innovative self-driving cars, the company decided to include user experiences of customers. The pilot tests focused on customer experience can help them in designing the interior, exterior, and self-driving systems of cars.

The 2021 autonomous cars by Ford will no longer feature a steering wheel and gas or brake pedals. A backup system serves as an emergency braking platform in case of emergency. 

Ford clarified that the new cars will be used as ride-hailing vehicles and not to be sold as private units, and will only traverse roads accommodated by the platform.