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Ford chooses Austin as third city to test self-driving car business

Christian de La Chapelle

In just two years time, Ford is looking to open a new transportation business that utilizes self-driving cars. The company announced Wednesday that Austin will be the third location selected to test out that venture, joining Miami and Washington, D.C.

In conjunction with Argo AI (a start-up which it owns), Ford is using state-of-the-art technology to develop a self-driving car system because the company thinks it will ultimately be a more efficient, more accessible and safer way of transporting both people and goods -- while lowering the amount of traffic and accidents. Other car companies who are also working on and exploring the same self-driving transportation concept in stops and starts -- including GM in San Francisco -- seem to agree.

In a statement, Ford said: "We’re excited to announce Austin will become our third launch market for self-driving vehicles ... The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization predicts vehicle use in the Austin region could double by 2040, while highway capacity will only grow 15 percent.  Simply put, Austin has to look towards diverse and innovative ways to move people around".

Austin Mayor Steve Adler added: "Almost 75 percent of Austinites commute by driving alone in personal vehicles. This is simply unsustainable ... With our region’s population on track to double in the next 20 to 25 years, it’s clear we need to re-think how our right-of-way is used if we want people to be able to move around our city."

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