What’s happening: Ford Motor Company has created Latitude AI, a fully owned subsidiary focused on developing a hands-free, eyes-off-the-road automated driving system for millions of vehicles. The subsidiary will reimagine the customer experience by automating driving during times that can be tedious, stressful, and unpleasant, such as bumper-to-bumper traffic or on long stretches of highway.
Why it matters: The average driver in the U.S. spends nearly 100 hours a year sitting in traffic according to the transportation analytics firm INRIX. By automating driving, Ford aims to redefine the relationship between people and their vehicles and give customers some of their day back.
- Latitude will focus on developing a hands-free, eyes-off-the-road automated driving system for millions of vehicles.
- The formation of Latitude adds a leading team of machine learning, robotics, software, sensors, systems engineering and operations talent to Ford’s automated driving technology development efforts.
- Ford has already accumulated more than 50 million miles of hands-free driving with its BlueCruise technology.
- Latitude is headquartered in Pittsburgh with additional engineering hubs in Dearborn, Mich. and Palo Alto, Calif. The company will also operate a highway-speed test track facility in Greenville, S.C.
Bottom line: Ford Motor Company’s creation of Latitude AI to focus on developing a hands-free, eyes-off-the-road automated driving system for millions of vehicles is part of its strategic shift to focus on automated driving technologies for personally owned vehicles. The move aims to improve safety, reduce stress, and free up a driver’s time.