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Ford Set to Put New Autonomous Vehicle Technology on Trial

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Per Reuters, Ford Motor Company (F - Free Report) will start testing its most recent autonomous vehicle technology by 2018. However, the commercial production of self-driving vehicles is not expected before 2021.

The company has plans to test these autonomous vehicle prototypes in a variety of pilot programs in association with partners, namely, Lyft, Inc. and Domino's Pizza Inc.

Almost at the same time, Ford changed plans to manufacture electric vehicles at the Flat Rock, MI plant to focus more on the production of its all-new autonomous vehicles at the same site.

Prior to this in January, the company had invested $700 million to renovate and expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan for production of its new electric vehicles. However, with greater focus on autonomous vehicles, the company is expected to pump another $900 million into the plant.

Ford Motor Company Price and Consensus



The company is also exploring business models, including the utility of its autonomous vehicles to transport people and goods.

Last month, another major automaker, General Motors Company (GM - Free Report) , announced its plan to introduce autonomous ride-sharing services across different cities of the United States in 2019.

Price Performance

In the last six months, shares of Ford have outperformed the industry it belongs to. The stock has gained 12.8% versus the industry’s 5.2% rally during the period.



Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Ford carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Two better-ranked stocks in the auto space are Yamaha Motor Company Ltd. (YAMHF - Free Report) and Wabco Holdings Inc. (WBC - Free Report) , both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Yamaha Motor has an expected long-term growth rate of 10.6%. In the last six months, shares of the company have been up 17.4%.

Wabco has an expected long-term growth rate of 15%. In the last six months, shares of the company have been up 12.8%.

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