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California's roads are to host prototype Ford Autonomous Vehicles from 2016

California's roads are to host prototype Ford Autonomous Vehicles from 2016

Ford is to begin the testing of its autonomous vehicles on California roads next year, the brand has announced.

Ford has a 10-year Autonomous Vehicle Developent Program which it plans will take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. As part of this, the brand is officially enrolled in the California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program to test autonomous vehicles on public roads.

Over the last year the Ford Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto in Silicon Valley has grown from a 15-person office to the current team of more than 100 engineers and scientists, making it one of the largest automotive manufacturer research centers in the region.

Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO commented on the centre's expansion: "Our Palo Alto team has grown significantly this year, using research and innovation to explore and develop future mobility solutions. We're attracting top talent from around the world to join our team in Silicon Valley, including employees from local technology companies and universities who want to make people's lives better by changing the way the world moves."

Ken Washington, vice president of Research and Advanced Engineering at Ford added: "Having a strong presence in Silicon Valley allows us to further accelerate our research on a wide range of technologies, and apply our insights to create real-world mobility solutions."