Ford Motor Co. said it has created Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, a new organization charged with accelerating its AV business to capitalize on market opportunities.
The new organization 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, according to the automaker.
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 said it expects to invest $4 billion in its AV efforts through 2023, including its $1 billion investment in Argo AI.
Sherif Marakby, currently Ford vice president, autonomous vehicles and electrification, has been appointed CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, reporting to a board of directors chaired by Marcy Klevorn, Ford’s executive vice president and president, mobility. The closer alignment of the self-driving platform and the mobility solutions teams will allow faster development of businesses that can thrive in the pre- and post-autonomous vehicle worlds, Ford noted.
“Ford has made tremendous progress across the self driving value chain – from technology development to business model innovation to user experience,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. “Now is the right time to consolidate our autonomous driving platform into one team to best position the business for the opportunities ahead.”
By 2020, Ford will offer North America’s freshest lineup among all full-line automakers, with its average showroom age dropping from 5.7 to 3.3 years as it replaces three-quarters of its lineup and adds four new trucks and SUVs, according to the automaker. Ford has similarly aggressive product-refresh plans in other regions, including Europe and Asia.
“We’re looking at every part of our business, making it more fit and ensuring that every action we take is driven by what will serve our customers in a way that supports our fitness and performance goals,” Hackett said.