Self-Driving Ford F-150 Spied in Dearborn?

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Ford

The future of autonomous driving may not be limited to sedans & SUVs after all.

It’s no secret that Ford, like every other automaker on the planet, intends to build and sell autonomous vehicles. But to date, those efforts have centered solely around Fusion Hybrid sedans equipped with futuristic-looking gear. The Blue Oval has been open about its plans to market such a vehicle by 2021. Yet the assumption has been that it would be some sort of hybrid sedan. But now it appears that a self-driving Ford F-150 might not be far behind.

Because spy photographers recently captured what is obviously an F-150 autonomous test vehicle parked outside Ford’s development center in Dearborn, Michigan. Unlike modern camouflage that effectively hides styling changes of new vehicles, there’s no disguising the lidar unit attached to the truck’s bed. Nor the various other gadgets on the roof and rear-view mirrors.

The photographer who captured the images didn’t actually see the self-driving Ford F-150 in motion. But there’s no denying its intentions. And we already know that Ford is developing autonomous off-road technology thanks to a recent patent. The Blue Oval has even gone on the record discussing such a vehicle.

 

‘Trucks have to be capable of operating in a wider variety of situations and use cases than cars, such as towing, hauling and off-road.’

 

“Trucks have to be capable of operating in a wider variety of situations and use cases than cars, such as towing, hauling and off-road,” a Ford spokesperson recently told Fox News. “This will require greater development effort than the autonomous vehicle for commercial operation in mobility services that we’ve promised in 2021. We will only do so when the technology fits customer needs and is affordable.”

When Fox News reached out to the automaker regarding the self-driving Ford F-150 sighting, they would only confirm that it belongs to one of their suppliers. But it just adds further confirmation to what we already know. A self-driving Ford F-150 is coming, and it’s coming soon.

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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