Ford has established Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, a new organisation charged with accelerating its AV (Autonomous Vehicles) business to capitalise on market opportunities.
The new business will include Ford’s self-driving systems integration, autonomous vehicle research and advanced engineering, AV transportation-as-a-service network development, user experience, business strategy and business development teams. The new LLC, which is structured to take on third party investment, will be primarily based at Ford’s Corktown campus in Detroit and will hold Ford’s ownership stake in Argo AI, the company’s Pittsburgh-based partner for self-driving system development. Ford expects to invest $US4 billion ($AU5.4 billion) in its AV efforts through 2023, including its $US1 billion ($AU1.35 billion) investment in Argo AI.
“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, 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.”
In addition, Ford is reorganising its Global Operations division to include Information Technology as well as the company’s global order-to-delivery system, integrating the teams, technologies and processes from both across Ford’s production system.
The company says that this realignment will help the company accelerate the integration and application of technology across its industrial system to further streamline manufacturing, speed vehicle delivery times, reduce inventories and improve capital efficiency.
“The evolution of computing power and IT have helped bring great products to customers – from cars to tablets,” Hackett said. “We can now harness this technology to unlock a new world of vehicle personalisation, supply chain choreography and inventory leanness that rivals any industrial model in the world.”