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Ford Creates New Autonomous Vehicle Subsidiary

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Ford Creates New Autonomous Vehicle Subsidiary

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Ford is attempting to cement its dominance in the autonomous vehicle market by setting up a dedicated subsidiary to manage it. The organization will be based in Detroit and will concentrate solely on developing the various technologies necessary to produce market-ready autonomous vehicles.

Called Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, the subsidiary will be housed at the Corktown campus in Detroit. This is what was the old Michigan Central Station building that the company bought recently. The organization will include self-driving systems integration, autonomous-vehicle research and advanced engineering, transportation-as-a-service network development, user experience, business strategy and business development teams. Argo AI will also be housed here.

This move is all part of Ford’s Autonomous 2021 project called Ford Smart Mobility. The automaker says it will have a fully autonomous vehicle on the road by the end of that year. The yardstick for success is ‘A vehicle that will be classified as a SAE Level 4 capable-vehicle, or one of High Automation that can complete all aspects of driving without a human driver to intervene.’

Hey big spender
By 2023, Ford is planning to invest $4 billion through its Autonomous Vehicle Subsidiary on autonomy and supporting technologies. It already bought Argo AI last year and has had autonomous departments spread throughout the company for years. This new organization brings them all together under a single umbrella and leadership.

‘Ford has made tremendous progress across the self-driving value chain — from technology development to business model innovation to user experience,” said Ford CEO Jim Hackett . “Now is the right time to consolidate our autonomous driving platform into one team to best position the business for the opportunities ahead.’

Autonomy is obviously where Ford sees its future. While automakers are still trying to build a case for us to have and use the technology, Ford are going full throttle into it with a huge cash investment over the next four years.

Personally speaking, I think the case has yet to be made for autonomous vehicles for all. I think the technology could have massive quality of life benefits for those with mobility, vision or hearing issues and for those who prefer to be driven rather than do the driving. For the rest of us, I think it will be a while yet before we willingly give up they keys and let a computer drive us.

What do you think of autonomous vehicles? Will you be happy for them to take over or will you prefer to drive yourself?

Categories: News