Ford is spinning out its self-driving efforts into a dedicated company which will benefit from $4bn in funding to accelerate the automaker’s autonomous vehicle ambitions.
The firm, named Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, will be based in Detroit, Michigan and will become responsible for Ford’s ownership stake in Argo AI, its self-driving system development partner. The business will focus on Ford’s self-driving systems integration, autonomous vehicle research and advanced engineering, autonomous vehicle transportation-as-a-service network development, user experience, business strategy, and business development.
Meanwhile, Ford expects to invest $4bn into the business over the next five years, including the $1bn it is investing in Argo AI. The firm has also been structured to take on third-party investment.
“Ford has made tremendous progress across the self-driving value chain – from technology development to business model innovation to user experience,” said Jim Hackett, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company. “Now is the right time to consolidate our autonomous driving platform into one team to best position the business for the opportunities ahead.”
Sherif Marakby, Ford’s current VP of autonomous vehicles and electrification, has been appointed CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles.