New Ford CEO Assures Us Robots Won't Be Taking Over Any Time Soon

The way Ford's former CEO Mark Fields used to talk, you would think artificially-intelligent cars were going to be taking the wheel any day. According to Fields, Ford would have a fully-autonomous model on the road in the U.S. by 2021.

Much like Will Smith's character in I, Robot, however, that thought frightens most American drivers. We don't mind having a car help us out with lane-keeping systems and pre-collision assist, but riding in a car with no steering wheel is a nail-biter.

Fortunately, Jim Hackett, Ford's new CEO, is taking a more realistic approach.

Speaking with the San Francisco Chronicle, Hackett explained that—yes—Ford will have a highly-automated car on the market by 2021. But don't expect human drivers to be pushed out of the equation.

"If you think about a vehicle that can drive anywhere, anytime, in any circumstance, cold, rain—that's longer than 2021," he said. Even if hurdles like weather can be overcome, Hackett doesn't see autonomous cars taking over completely. "I think it'll be a co-dependent model in the future."

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