Ford announced on Tuesday that it is enlarging its fleet of self-driving test cars from 10 to 30 vehicles on streets and test roadways — making its growing roster of robot cars the largest in the industry, according to the company.
“At Ford, we’ve been focusing on developing autonomous vehicles for more than a decade, because for us it is very serious work,” Ford President and CEO Mark Fields said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
The automaker got the go-ahead last year from California to begin testing its driverless vehicles on public roads in 2016, and has tried out its robot Fusions at a special facility built in partnership with the University of Michigan.
“Using the most advanced technology and expanding our test fleet are clear signs of our commitment to make autonomous vehicles available for millions of people,” Ford Executive Vice President Raj Nair said in a statement.
The carmaker also announced that it is partnering with Amazon so that drivers can speak to their connected cars through the online retail giant’s Echo device, which takes voice commands and can be used to control other devices over Bluetooth or Wifi.