Ford is the first company to test autonomous vehicles in Washington, D.C., according to the district, by establishing a self-driving vehicle business.
Ford will be working with local officials in Washington, D.C., to ensure the self-driving vehicles are tested across the city—and eventually operate business pilot programs in all eight wards as well—as they work toward deployment of a commercial service in 2021.
Ford's partners at Argo AI, who are leading development of the self-driving system, already have vehicles on district streets, mapping roads in the first step toward testing in autonomous mode. Over the next year, the fleet will grow as testing areas expand, including within the city’s downtown core.
Ford is also looking to train a roster of vehicle operators, who will be responsible for safely operating and monitoring the test vehicles on public roads and on closed courses throughout the development process.