For keeps coming out with big and exciting news. Well, at least for them. They can’t seem to get off our blog.
This time, they have more announcements surrounding autonomous vehicles. Apparently, Ford Motor Company plans to spend $4 billion through 2023 in a newly created LLC dedicated to building out that business.
The automaker announced that it has created Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, which will house the company’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.
Of the $4 billion, $1 billion is the investment in startup a startup called Argo AI .
The investment in Argo AI, which is the startup launched by former Google self-driving project veteran Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander, has been public since the deal was first announced in February of last year.
The total $4 billion investment figure, and Ford’s decision to create a new organization dedicated to all things autonomous vehicles, provides some clues to the automaker’s ultimate ambitions. Ford’s work on autonomous vehicles was previously scattered throughout the company, from product development and research departments to its marketing and planning organizations.
Its decision to bring all of these various pieces together suggests the company is evolving from research and testing toward an autonomous vehicle business. In short, it sees a path toward commercial deployment.
In June, Ford laid out a plan to spend the next four years transforming at least 1.2 million square feet of space in Corktown (part of Detroit) into a hub for its electric and autonomous vehicles businesses.
The company further plans to house 2,500 Ford employees, most from its emerging mobility team, in its new Corktown campus by 2022. The new campus will have space to accommodate 2,500 additional employees of partners and other businesses. The remaining 300,000 square feet will represent a unique mix of retail space and residential housing.