Ford Co. recently announced that its autonomous vehicle business will be separated into a new organization and will be based in the automaker’s Corktown campus. Ford is apparently investing $4 billion into this initiative by 2023.
Reports claim that Ford Autonomous Vehicles will incorporate all components of its self-driving vehicle business. This is a cue from the Dearborn-based auto giant that its autonomous vehicle research is gaining traction and various other aspects of the company’s autonomous business are getting at a point where they need to break away from the Ford Smart Mobility umbrella.
This new company will be headed by Sherif Marakby, the current VP of Autonomous Vehicles & Electrification, Ford. Marakby & Ford Smart Mobility will report to a board chaired by Marcy Klevorn, President of Mobility, Ford.
Ford is planning to infuse $4 billion in its autonomous vehicle program to incorporate $1 billion fund in Argo which was announced in 2017. Ford has proposed to bring its fully functional autonomous car without steering or pedals by 2021.
According to Jim Hackett, President & CEO, Ford, this is the right time to consolidate the company’s autonomous driving platform into a single team to position it for future opportunities. He asserted that the company has made excellent progress in self-driving in terms of technological development and business model innovation to better user experience.
The new unit will have teams working on autonomous vehicle research, transportation network development, self-driving systems, advanced engineering, user experience and business strategy & development teams. The unit will hold the company’s ownership stake in Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based firm developing Ford’s autonomous vehicle’s virtual driving system.
Ford Smart Mobility will handle the company’s other mobility ventures like Chariot shuttle service, fleet management and other services. The recent change is apparently a part of a set of management shifts within the Ford establishment.
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