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Ford expands self-driving fleet to Austin

The city wants half of its residents to use alternative transportation within 20 years.

Ford and its Argo AI division have announced plans to launch a self-driving pilot program in Austin, Texas.

The city is the third location selected by the company, following Miami-Dade County in Florida and Washington DC.
The automaker says Austin is the fastest-growing metro region in the US. Vehicle use is predicted to double by 2040, likely increasing congestion as highway capacity is only planned to increase by 15 percent.
"Ford and Austin officials believe self-driving vehicles can be part of a comprehensive mobility solution by providing wider access to transportation and more efficient goods delivery," said Ford's autonomous vehicles chief, Sherif Marakby.
The company has not mentioned a possible launch window for an actual commercial service. In the meantime, the automaker will spend time talking to local businesses and start mapping the city in detail.

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