Ford CEO Says Customers Will Pay Up for Auto-Pilot if They Can Sleep in Their Car
If you are going to be on a long flight, especially if it’s early in the morning, it is common sense that you try to get in a few hours of sleep to recharge. So it is fair to assume that commuters would be doing the same thing on their way to work if their car had a fully-functional auto-pilot system.
Ford CEO Jim Farley echos this sentiment when discussing Ford’s autonomous driving features the automaker plans on including in their future line of electric vehicles. “When I was at Toyota and I sold my Prius, that HOV sticker was worth $5,000,” says Farley “That only saved me five minutes a day on my commute. If we can get people to fall asleep in our car, give them 45 minutes back on their commute, they can go to work 45 minutes later, they can go home 45 minutes earlier, it won’t be $500. It’ll be tens of thousands of dollars.”
The concept of autonomous, self-driving vehicles is still in its infancy stage. Tesla currently charges $12,000 for its self-driving feature, which requires the driver to apply pressure on the steering wheel in order to keep it active.
Ford is currently developing its own autonomous self-driving technology “BlueCruise”, which will be a hands-free highway driving system that is expected to be available to customers after 500,000 miles of development testing. Ford’s other automated driving system, Argo AI, is currently available in driverless ride-sharing vehicles in select cities.
Farley describes the imminent technological revolution in the auto industry in the same way smartphones altered our everyday way of life. “We’re about to change the ride just like Apple and all the smartphone companies changed the call,” says Farley. “And I believe when that happens when you can ship a lot of software to the car, and you have great sensors, and really change that experience and be a lot more productive, there will be a large revenue expansion.”
With technology’s rapid evolution growing every day, perhaps there will be a day when you might be able to squeeze in a short siesta before that 9 AM meeting.