Ford claims that drivers will be able take their eyes off of the road within two years

Jim Farley, chief executive of Ford Motor Co, said that the company is only two years away from introducing technology which will allow drivers take their hands and eyes off the steering wheel.

Farley told Bloomberg TV’s David Westin in an interview on May 31 that “we’re really close.” “We’re getting close,” Farley said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s David Westin on May 31.

Farley believes Ford will be able to make the necessary progress in a timely manner to have the feature available by 2026. This would make Ford the first mass-market car brand to provide what engineers call Level 3 autonomous driving. It’s when the car will take over driving under certain circumstances, allowing the driver to focus on other tasks.

Farley explained that “Level 3 autonomy” will allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel on highways in two years, and then the car will be like a workplace. “You could make a conference call or do all kinds of things.”

Ford and General Motors Co. offer hand-free driving systems, but they use eye tracking devices that ensure the driver stays focused on the road. Ford’s BlueCruise system is being investigated by US safety regulators following fatal crashes. Federal authorities are also investigating Tesla Inc. and other companies for crashes that involved their semi-autonomous system.

Farley’s predictions come less than two year after Ford closed down Argo AI, its autonomous affiliate. Argo AI said that full self-driving is still too far away.

Mercedes-Benz began offering a eyes-off-the-road function in the US late last year, but only at speeds under 40 miles (64.3km/h) on pre-approved highways.

Farley said Ford’s system could operate up to 80 miles per hour (128.7km/h) on the highway but only in clear skies.

Farley stated, “We think that we can only do it in sunny days.” It’s hard to go 80 miles per hour in heavy rain.

Ford wants to offer its drivers subscriptions to BlueCruise and other features. Farley believes that these high-margin services will smooth out the boom and bust cycles of the auto industry.

Ford sells software to commercial customers for managing their fleets. Farley believes semi-autonomous driving features such as eyes-off-the road driving are a good way to convince individual retail customers to purchase software subscriptions.

Farley stated that “BlueCruise is so much more popular, and it’s hands-free.” It’s a step before you can turn off your eyes.

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