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Ford creates self-driving division to rival GM’s Cruise and Waymo



Ford Self Driving Car
A self-driving Ford

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  • Ford
    announced on Tuesday that it will create a separate division to
    manage its self-driving efforts.
  • Ford
    will report second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, so CEO Jim
    Hackett will have an opportunity to explain investment
    opportunities in Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC to Wall
  • As with GM and its Cruise division, Ford
    Autonomous Vehicles LLC will be able to court outside

Ford is making a move that’s now familiar in the new-mobility
world: setting up an independent self-driving-vehicle unit.

The division will be called Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC and
will be overseen by Sherif Marakby as CEO; Marakby had
been a vice-president of Ford’s self-driving and electrified

“Ford has made tremendous progress across the self driving
value chain – from technology development to business model
innovation to user experience,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said 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.”

According to Ford, the new company will be “structured to
take on third-party investment,” an indication that the
115-year-old company is paying close attention to the

General Motor’s Cruise division recently announced a
$2.25-billion investment from Japan’s SoftBank, which paired with
an additional $1.1-billion investment from GM gave Cruise an
$11.5-billion valuation. (GM acquired Cruise for a total of
around $1 billion in 2016.)

Alphabet’s Waymo unit (formerly the Google Car project) is
also heading toward a commercial rollout in the next 12 months,
launching a fully autonomous fleet of vehicles in a ride-hailing
framework. Standalone valuations for Waymo have been estimated at
more than $50 billion.

organization of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC.


Ford also announced that the new unit will be based at its

Corktown location
, which will see significant new development
in an area near Downtown Detroit (Ford’s headquarters is in
Dearborn, MI). The carmaker said that Ford Autonomous
Vehicles LLC  will include an “

ownership stake
in Argo AI, the company’s Pittsburgh-based partner for
self-driving system development,” in which the company “expects
to invest $4 billion in its AV efforts through 2023, including
its $1 billion investment in Argo AI.”

Ford will report second-quarter earnings after the bell on
Wednesday, providing Hackett with an opportunity to
explain Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC’s investment prospects
and strategy to Wall Street.

Get the latest Ford stock price here.

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