Ford's self-driving cars to arrive in five years

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Ford has stepped up its quest to conquer the market for self-driving cars with a plan to mass-produce autonomous vehicles by 2021.

As well as lacking a driver, the cars will not have a steering wheel, accelerator or brake pedal.

They are likely to be used by a ride-sharing service, Ford president Mark Fields said.

“It’s now clear that the next decade is going to be defined by the automation of the automobile,” he added.

Ford’s move will heat up the already fierce competition in this space.

Later this month taxi-hailing app Uber will launch technology enabling customers to call a driverless car from their phone – a major advance that puts it ahead of rivals.

Google has been testing its fleet for several years and remains widely regarded as the leader in the field.

Elon Musk’s Tesla has impressed with a sophisticated cruise control named Autopilot, but came under fire after a driver using the feature was killed in a collision with a truck. Neither Autopilot nor the driver, 40-year-old Joshua Brown, noticed the white side of a tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, Tesla said.

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August 19, 2016 |
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