Ford moving autonomous and electric vehicle teams to Detroit
Ford Motor Company has announced plans to move its key autonomous vehicle and electric vehicle business and strategy teams to a historic building known as The Factory, in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.
Expected to be up and running in early 2018, The Factory will serve as a place for the teams to work on urban mobility challenges and solutions. More than 220 employees will work at The Factory.
“We’re excited to choose this inspirational location in one of Detroit’s resurgent neighborhoods to accelerate our work on electric and autonomous vehicles,” says Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO.
“This move and our exciting Dearborn campus transformation are important steps as we move toward our aspiration to become the world’s most trusted mobility company – designing smart vehicles for a smart world.”
Ford says that the move to Corktown is more than a relocation; it is also a “strategic decision aligned with a mission,” as Ford is dedicated to helping improve the entire system of transporting people and goods, especially in cities dealing with major transportation-related issues such as congestion, pollution, and accidents, as well as other issues that impact everything from productivity to quality of life.
“Having these teams together in a dedicated facility in the heart of Detroit is truly a full-circle moment for Ford,” says Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president, global markets.
“It’s such a conducive environment for sharing ideas, for collaboration, and for accelerating our electric vehicle efforts. We have such a great team, and we’ll be hearing more from them in the coming months.”
Ford currently has several partnerships related to the future of mobility. Thanks to a $1 billion investment in Argo AI, Ford is advancing autonomous vehicle development by combining its autonomous vehicle expertise with Argo AI’s robotics experience and “startup speed on artificial intelligence software.”
With its autonomous vehicle business built around deploying self-driving vehicles in partnership with leading companies that serve the movement of both people and goods, Ford is also working with companies such as Lyft and Domino’s Pizza to conduct research and build out the infrastructure that will help determine the design of the self-driving vehicle and the customer experience it will enable.
Ford’s first autonomous vehicle, which is planned for production beginning in 2021, is an all-new hybrid-electric vehicle with self-driving capability. The vehicle will be optimized to meet the needs of Ford’s partners to enhance and grow their business operations, while also providing the best experience for the people they serve.