This is Ford's ambitious plan to get autonomous cars on the road by 2021

Ford Autonomous Car
Ford Autonomous Car

Ford, one of the staples in the car manufacturing industry, wants to evolve from being the company that makes your next car to the company that acts as your personal chauffeur, too.

At an event held at its research and innovation center in Palo Alto, California, the company announced that it will develop a fleet of self-driving, autonomous vehicles that it plans on turning into a ride-sharing service similar to Uber or Lyft.

Instead of the cars you've been used to hitching a ride in, though, there won't be a driver – or even a steering wheel, gas pedal or brakes.

Ford says to expect to see the fleet on a city street near you by the year 2021, and will make the production of these vehicles as much of a priority as its production lines in Detroit.

The self-driving technology inside the car will be built by a number of separate companies including Velodyne, which makes LIDAR sensors; SAIPS, an Israeli company that specializes in machine learning and computer vision; Nirenberg Neuroscience and 3D-mapping company Civil Maps.

But whether the autonomous car in question will look more like a Ford Mustang or a Ford Fiesta remains a mystery – Ford isn't quite ready to show off prototype sketches just yet.

Ford plans on ramping up production on the system in the coming months by doubling the amount of full-time employees at its research and development facility.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.