American automobile manufacturer Ford Motors is the latest company to throw its hat into the fold in the race to build autonomous vehicles. This announcement comes as a surprise as it shows the company’s undoubted commitment to developing autonomous vehicle technology and a business around it. The subsidiary of Ford Motors will be known as Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC. Ford has been interested in developing autonomous vehicle technology, so this consolidation of its departments into a new company was a logical decision.
The reorganization will allow faster decision-making within this team focused on developing the new technology. It will effectively eliminate rules and bureaucracy within the parent company that the division was previously subjected to. The CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC will be Sherif Marakby, a longtime Ford employee who went to Uber and served as VP of Global Vehicle Programs before leaving to comeback to Ford. Marakby will report to Marcy Klevorn, who will be serving as chairman of its board of directors. Ford will commit $4 billion to the new subsidiary from this year throughout 2023. Despite the commitment, $1 billion dollars of this fund is already being allocated to the self-driving startup Ford purchased in 2017 known as Argo AI. The headquarters for the new LLC will be based out of Ford’s Corktown campus in Detroit. Ford has recently laid out a plan to transform approximately 1.2 million square feet of space in Corktown into a hub for its electric and autonomous vehicle businesses. The company plans to relocate 2,500 employees to the new Corktown campus. The company has stated in the past that it intends to have autonomous vehicles operational and on the road by 2021. The new subsidiary will not affect the formation of Ford Smart Mobility LLC which is based out of Palo Alto, California and is focused on emerging mobility products and services, one of these companies being known as Chariot. Chariot is a transit company that provides shuttles for people to get to and from their job. The new LLC is also structured to take on third-party investments. Ford CEO Jim Hackett said that now is the most sensible time to consolidate its effort to best position the business for the future. Ford executives believe that three or four autonomous vehicle companies will dominate the market and that will come down to whichever company is able to develop the technology and a business around it. Ford joins the likes of Alphabet’s Waymo, GM’s Cruise, Volkswagen, and Nissan in the race for autonomous vehicle supremacy.
American Car Manufacturer Ford Motors Throws its Hat into the Autonomous Vehicle Ring
Michigan flatbed shipping companies are certain to experience the effects of these technological developments because Detroit has become the hub for autonomous vehicle development, with several smaller startups and major companies choosing to locate their headquarters in the area. This is likely due to the city and state’s positive reception to automobile companies and their willingness to allow these companies to test out their technology. In terms of flatbed hauling companies in general, autonomous vehicle technology is an exciting prospective opportunity. These vehicles have potential to transform the industry and the way flatbed shipping companies operate. Another prospective technology that can transform the transportation industry’s landscape is the Internet of Things, refer to the link to see another article that takes a look at this and analyzes its potential impact. Check out my other article on the blog to see how automation and artificial intelligence will impact the industry as well!