More autonomous Ford Fusions will be tested this year (Photo: Ford)
LAS VEGAS -- Ford Motor will put more fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid test vehicles on the road this year as it accelerates its driverless-driving programs.
The carmaker's CEO, Mark Fields, said at the CES consumer electronics show that Ford will add 20 Fusion Hybrids to itsÂ test fleet this year, making a total of 30 that will be driving on roads in California, Arizona and Michigan.
Ford also used CES to reinforce its new focus on connectivity, unveiling a range of new initiatives.
All model-year 2017 cars in the US will have Apple CarPlay and Android connectivity included as part of Ford's Sync infotainment system, Fields said. Moreover, model-year 2016 vehicles can be upgraded in the course of the year.
Ford is also developing ways to pair Sync with home automation devices or smart home products. The carmaker is working with Amazon to explore how the online company's Echo product can be linked to vehicles to allow drivers to, for example,Â control lights, thermostats, security systems and other features of their homes from their car.
In a press briefing on the first day of CES, Fields reaffirmed that Ford is concentrating on both traditional car making and sales and the world of new mobility.
He noted that global auto industry sales total about 2.3 trillion dlrs a year, while transportation services generate 5.4 trillion dlrs of revenue a year. Carmakers, however, barely play a role in the latter area.Said the Ford CEO: Â 'That's a massive opportunity."
-By Arjen Bongard