Ford delaying robotaxi launch until 2022

Ford delaying robotaxi launch until 2022
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Ford said this week it will need to push back the launch date of its autonomous self-driving robotaxi service by a year to 2022, citing delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Given the challenges of the current business environment, as well as the need to evaluate the long-term impact of COVID-19 on customer behaviors, Ford made the decision to shift the launch of its self-driving services to 2022," the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The automaker indicated that when the robotaxi service launches it will meet growing consumer demand for higher health and safety standards.

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"As part of this evaluation, we also want to make sure the customer experience we are building offers people peace of mind knowing they, or their packages, are in a safe and protected environment inside our vehicles," the company added.

Just last month, Uber suspended its feature to share rides with other users, part of an effort to prevent further spread of the deadly coronavirus. 

Ford suffered a $2 billion loss in the first three months of the year and said this week it will cancel production on a Rivian-based SUV vehicle under its luxury brand Lincoln. The company will still move forward with the launch of its first entirely electric Mustang Mach E and a new Bronco SUV.