Ford reported third-quarter earnings on Thursday, beating Wall Street’s estimates.
Afterwards, on a conference call with analysts, CEO Mark Fields was asked by Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas if Ford could enhance the safety of its vehicles by beginning to install more advanced self-driving systems.
Fields wasn’t ready to commit to that, but he did take the opportunity to voice his own concerns about one of the main reasons that auto fatalities have been edging up in 2016 – over 1o%, according to the Transportation Department.
“If you want to make cars safer, take people’s phones away from them so they can’t text while they’re driving,” Fields said, sternly.
Fields added that Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, which allows for a high number of voice commands, enables drivers to avoid interacting with their devices hands-on.
This means that drivers can keep their “eyes on road and their hands on wheel,” Fields said.
Over 30,000 people die in auto-related accident annually in the US alone. There’s a lot of discussion about self-driving technology greatly reducing this toll, as most fatal accidents are due to driver error.