Ford has formed a new subsidiary that will aim to develop automated driving systems for millions of vehicles, the automaker announced.
Company officials said Latitude AI would work on “hands-free, eyes-off-the-road” technology designed to operate on long stretches of highway, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, or in other situations that could be “tedious, stressful, and unpleasant.” Ford said that drivers are already benefiting from its hands-off BlueCruise system and that the technologies developed by Latitude could redefine the driver-vehicle relationship altogether.
Sammy Omari, the new subsidiary’s CEO, said the company believes that automated driving technology will improve driver safety and unlock "all-new customer experiences" that will ultimately save time and reduce stress.
The division, headquartered in Pittsburgh, includes more than 500 former employees of Argo AI, the autonomous driving firm co-owned by Ford and Volkswagen that was disbanded late last year. In addition to Omari — also the executive director at Ford’s ADAS Technologies — David Gollob will serve as Latitude’s president, and Peter Carr will serve as its chief technology officer.In addition to the company’s Pittsburgh offices, Latitude will operate engineering facilities in Silicon Valley and in Ford’s native Dearborn, Michigan. A highway-speed test campus will be located in Greenville, South Carolina.