Ford CEO Jim Farley says customers will pay ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ to sleep in their cars


Jim Farley knows that time is money.

Ford CEO sees big profit opportunity in technology that will allow drivers to sleep in their cars.

Speaking at the Bernstein Conference on Wednesday, Farley said advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), including fully autonomous capability, are something customers will be willing to pay big bucks for.

He credited Tesla’s ability to charge $12,000 for its full self-driving system, which still doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its name, as an example of the pricing power that the potential for. ADAS saves industry time.

Ford CEO Jim Farley thinks customers will pay tens of thousands of dollars for self-driving technology. (Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“When I was at Toyota and sold my Prius, this HOV sticker [which granted hybrids access to California HOV lanes regardless of how many people were on board] was worth $5,000,” Farley said.

“It’s only saved me five minutes a day on my commute. If we can get people to fall asleep in our car, give them 45 minutes back on their commute, they can go to work 45 minutes later, they can go home 45 minutes early, it won’t be $500. It will be tens of thousands of dollars.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk says Tesla’s full self-driving car could be worth $100,000 when fully functional. (Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

It’s a view shared by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who said full self-driving could be worth $100,000 when fully functional.

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Farley compared what is happening in the automotive industry to the transformation of cell phones into today’s multifunctional smartphones.

“We used to use our phones to make a call, and then the in-vehicle systems came in, and the sensor suite and all that software allowed those devices to not be used for calls” , Farley said.

“We’re about to change the drive, just like Apple and all the smartphone companies have changed the appeal. And I believe when that happens, when you can send a lot of software to the car, and you have great sensors, and really changing that experience and being a lot more productive, there’s going to be a big increase in revenue.”

AI Argo

Argo AI, owned by Ford, is working on self-driving technology for transport vehicles. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)

Even short of full range, Farley said ADAS will play a major role in the development of the first vehicles designed specifically for taxi and transportation services.

“The largest fleet of carriers today in the United States are Lyft and Uber drivers,” Farley said. “There are 1.3 million right now.”

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“No one has ever built a product that’s optimized for them with optimized low operating cost, low insurance, and it’s definitely going to be an EV and it’s definitely going to have very high ADAS content.”


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