Ford is crazy serious about autonomous vehicles, so much so that it has just created a new subsidiary company called Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC which will house all of its self-driving car efforts including 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.
Why is this a big deal? Well, Ford is one of the world's largest automakers, and for it to take such a serious measure to help speed up its autonomous vehicle development plans means that other major companies are going to need to get similarly serious if they're going to keep up.
Ford is planning on investing upward of $4 billion in autonomous vehicle development over the next five years, including its $1 billion investment in Pennsylvania company Argo AI. That's not chump change, folks.
"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, in a statement. "Now is the right time to consolidate our autonomous driving platform into one team to best position the business for the opportunities ahead."
The new company will be helmed by Sherif Marakby, currently vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification for Ford.