Ford president leaves the company over ‘inappropriate behavior’

Ford Motor Company President Raj Nair is leaving the company “effective immediately” after an internal investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior. “Certain behavior by Nair was inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct,” the company writes in a statement. No further specifics were given about which parts of the company’s code of conduct were violated.

“We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement. “Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values.”

Nair had been with the company for 31 years, and in 2017 was named to the position of president of North American…

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Ford president Raj Nair leaves over ‘inappropriate behavior’

Ford will have to adjust its technology strategy, and not for the right reasons. The automaker's North America President Raj Nair has left the company after an internal investigation determined that "inappropriate behavior" was out of line with the…
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Ford Patented a Self-Driving Police Car That Even Writes Tickets

The Ford Motor Company — one of America’s ‘Big Three’ auto-giants — has a [troubling] vision of changing the way police officers issue traffic and vehicle citations.

Strange as it may seem, The Washington Post reports that earlier this year, Ford filed a patent covering its vision of an autonomous police car — an actual, next-generation police cruiser, which would be functionally equipped with technologies allowing it to issue traffic tickets wirelessly.

“The autonomous police cars may have cameras and lasers to detect traffic violators,” MotorTrend explains, adding that “Once [the autonomous police car] identifies a vehicle that is violating traffic laws, it pulls the vehicle over.”

At that point, with minimal intervention on the officer’s part, the car captures an image of the license plate; it then receives an image of the driver’s license, and ultimately uses that information to scan police databases and determine whether a warning or citation should be issued.

If that’s not creepy enough these cars are capable of being trained via machine learning to help ‘map out’ the best hiding spots — so as to “nab speeders and other types of traffic violators” quicker and easier.

When Are They Coming?

While the sheer thought of an autonomous police car roaming the streets is bound to irk the hell out of most drivers, it’s worth pointing out the inherent patent is merely a concept at this point.

And while the literature goes on to suggest that these cars may allow officers to devote their time to “more difficult tasks that can’t be automated,” it stands to reason we may never even see these things. Ford admitted that it’s unsure of whether these cars will ever be produced, saying in a statement issued to The Washington Post that “We submit patents on innovative ideas as a normal course of business. Patent applications are intended to protect new ideas but aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans.”

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Ford Makes Plans for an Automated Police Car That Takes the Law Into Its Own Hands

AI Police

Will autonomous robots be the ones issuing arrests and tickets in the future? It’s not out of the question. Ford has officially filed for a patent on an automated police car. Now, this does not mean that an autonomous, artificially intelligent (AI) police vehicle will actually hit the roads — or even be fully developed. But it does show that such an idea is being taken seriously and could be a future possibility.

An illustration from the patent. Image Credit: Ford
An illustration from the patent. Image Credit: Ford Global Technologies, LLC.

The autonomous police vehicle described by the patent would be able to detect violations made with other vehicles. It could do this entirely on its own but would also be capable of working with surveillance cameras and/or roadside sensors.

The AI police vehicle would be able to issue a citation or ticket, but it could take matters even further if it “decided” it was necessary. It could pursue and follow the offending vehicle, “remotely executing one or more actions,” as it is stated by the patent.

Murky Ethics

In addition to being able to wirelessly connect to the offending vehicle to communicate with the passenger and issue a citation, the automated police car would be able to distinguish whether or not the vehicle should receive a ticket or just a warning.

Laws and Ethics for Autonomous Cars
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The patent also suggests that police officers might be able to take over the AI vehicle or even use its wireless databases to get information on suspects and offenders.

Now, while this is still just a patent, it does raise the issue of whether or not it is ethical to put the law into the hands of AI. It has already been shown that AI is not as reliable and unbiased as we once thought in analyzing repeat offenders. So, if the concept of AI police action moves forward, is it something we can trust to fairly uphold the law?

The post Ford Makes Plans for an Automated Police Car That Takes the Law Into Its Own Hands appeared first on Futurism.


Ford patent details system for autonomous police cars

This month, Ford was granted a patent for an autonomous police car. The car can work in cooperation with a human officer or by itself, and it can tell when a traffic law has been violated and act accordingly. These may be described as "autonomous pol…
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