Ford wants to remove the steering wheel


Ford aims to have mass-produced self-driving cars on the road by 2021.
It intends to launch the vehicles without a steering wheel or pedals.
The BBC’’s Michelle Fleury took a ride in one of 10 Ford Fusions fitted with some of the prototype tech the US carmaker is using to achieve that goal.


You won’t get me in one!


I’m not sure I like the idea of self driving cars not having a steering wheel. Don’t car manufactures think people like driving. My DH prefers driving a stick shift, because he feels he has greater control. He used to have one in the 1990s


That won’t stop one of them from killing you or I.


I’d like my next new car to come with its own driver, like a chauffeur-driven limousine kind of concept. That kind of idea. :thumbsup:

I think that I’d prefer that over a car that drives itself! :slight_smile:

See, that way you can still get dropped off and picked up.

I don’t know if these self-driving cars could do that. It’s a scary thought, if they could!


I tease my kids that they’ll have to drive me around one day. Payback!!


Not everyone enjoys driving. And not everyone enjoys driving “stick”. In fact, I think you’d be hard pressed to find people under 30 (or even 40?) who even know how to drive stick. I certainly don’t (I’m 29). These things change over time - generation to generation. I’m sure 100 years ago you had some people still insisting “doesn’t Ford know most people prefer horse and buggy?”.
Most of us fly commercial airlines. Do you know how much of the flight is essentially on auto-pilot? I take public transit everyday - here in Vancouver our subways / trains don’t have operators…they’re computerized and have been since the 80s. Of course its a lot easier to automate trains since they run on tracks… but this is the logical next step. Assuming they iron out all the wrinkles, I am sure a properly programmed computer will be much less likely to make a fatal error than a tired human driver.


Will the Indianapolis 500 get 300,000 fans to show up to watch self driving cars, with or without free beer? It might as well be a video game, but at least without drivers in the cars there should be no injuries.


I love stick shifts, but they are hard to find in the US :frowning:

Well, self-driving cars look like they’re inevitable, and I can see where it would be convenient, if you didn’t have to pay attention–if you have to pay attention, why not drive?–but I can’t see not having the option to drive at all!


I know the argument can convincingly be made that humans always manage to adapt to technology breakthroughs and technological change, but I strongly believe that robotics and autonomous robots will be 100% different. I say that because humans will be replaced altogether, not simply required to adapt. When corporations and the overall economy no longer need humans, it may just be that steps are taken to see that less humans actually exist. I’m not at all sure how it will unfold, of course, but I’m quite sure that’s the goal in some quarters. I very highly recommend that everyone read this article, which is directly related to the thread’s subject. It might take a couple minutes, but you’ll be glad that you took the time, and it really is something we should all be keenly aware of.


What happens if there is a computer malfunction? Perhaps one of the computer chips has a slight defect that went unnoticed. Or perhaps there is a bug in the software which makes it possible to hack into the program, inject a virus, and cause a blowup or a collision.
Then in the case of an accident, who is legally responsible for the damages?


Yes, planes have autopilot, but you can still override it and take manual control. I would not want a car which couldn’t be manually controlled in case of emergency or malfunction. I wonder if a self driving car would allow those with epilepsy to “drive” again, since it wouldn’t require them to do anything; they wouldn’t be the actual driver. That could be a good side of the technology, but I don’t know if I would trust it.

Oh, and plenty of people prefer manual transmission (stick shift.) They’re easier and cheaper to maintain, and it’s nice to have the control when going over hills, hauling, etc. I’ve talked with many guys in their teens and twenties about driving a manual, popping the clutch (an alternative way to start a manual transmission vehicle, like when the battery dies) and such. Yeah, it’s not as popular as it used to be, but they’re still around. I imagine some new SUVs and trucks have the option? I haven’t paid attention to new vehicles in a while.


Yes, self driving is inevitable, the auto industry has sunk huge amounts of money into it, so as much as some people are resisting, its pretty much going to happen and alot sooner than I think many people thought, 2018, is when all the auto manufacturers have self driving models coming out, I think its probably going to be a quick transition.

For self driving to really work the way it is intended, everyone will have to hand over the wheel to the computer so to speak, if we still have some people out there driving manually, the system will not be as efficient imo, humans are not predictable, computers are, the less people driving manually the less chance of accidents and errors, Once everyone is using SD, there will be no need for traffic lights, comp. auto insurance, police patrolling traffic, etc. Its going to be a good thing imo.


There was this automatic computer controlled Airbus airliner that swallowed a bunch of birds.

But Tom Hanks successfully manually landed it in the river.

And then there was another automatic Airbus … Air France 447 … where computer ignored the co-pilot’s error(s) and pancaked itself into the Atlantic. Killed everyone.

Guess it matters who writes the computer program.

Somewhere on Youtube there is a video of the chief test pilot of Airbus getting killed when the plane refused to stop on the runway and ran off the end, … “non, non, non … we have procedures”.




So I will be able to knit as I travel? Ah great!

Love my gear lever… ( stick shift? Dreadful phrase…:wink:

Bu th thought of … no steering wheel or driver,makes me glad my driving years are nearing their end., But HEY! If I am not driving the car age does not matter!!


Suddenly as I was negotiating Slea Head today had the terrible thought. Imagine a self driving car that uses GPS :wink:


I’m imagining the cars will come with a sort of PC gamer driving control set that you pull from the trunk and plug in when needed, for rural offroad driving and bad weather. A computer can’t park your car while camping.

At least for interstate driving, you really do need all the cars linked together to reduce congestion…



I just can’t wait to see the EULA that comes with self-driving cars. Just ask farmers who can’t repair their own tractors.

Not to mention self-driving cars have already been hacked. That won’t change, security is always behind exploits.

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