Ford Expands Self-Driving Car Tests to Washington, D.C.

October 22, 2018 at 3:27 PM

Ford Motor Co. plans to begin testing a fleet of self-driving cars early next year in Washington, D.C.

The carmaker, which aims to launch commercial applications for autonomous vehicles in 2021, currently is testing the technology in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Miami. In Miami, Ford is partnering with businesses such as Domino’s Pizza and Postmates to test real-world delivery applications.

Ford’s Argo AI unit is in the process of mapping streets in all of Washington, D.C.’s eight wards. Ford will operate a fleet terminal in the city that will serve as a home base for the vehicles and a technical support team.

During initial testing, a safety backup driver and a Ford engineer will ride along to monitor and take control of the autonomous vehicles as needed. The carmaker also plans to work with its local dealers to train residents to become technicians specializing in self-driving vehicles.