The word "mobility" has been all but inescapable since automakers have realized that, in order to survive, they'll need to do more than just build cars. Toyota's developing systems for the blind, GM's dabbling in car sharing, and now, Ford's spinning off an entire division to focus on the future.
Ford Smart Mobility LLC is a subsidiary that seeks to "design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services," as the company puts it. Jim Hackett resigned his post on Ford's board of directors to helm the new project, which will call two locations home -- Palo Alto, California and Dearborn, Michigan.
Plenty of the subsidiary's work will expand upon things Ford has already started. With the help of startups and tech companies, Ford Smart Mobility will cover a wide variety of advancements, including connectivity, alternate methods of mobility (rides on demand, predictive parking systems) and, of course, autonomous vehicles.
"Ensuring the freedom of mobility requires us to continually look beyond the needs of today and interpret what mobility will mean to future generations," said Bill Ford, Ford's executive chairman. "This new subsidiary will enable us to develop mobility solutions to address the rapidly changing transportation challenges of an increasingly crowded world."