Ford Motor Company has established Latitude AI, a wholly owned subsidiary focused on developing an autonomous driving system. With this move, Ford gains a team of developers in machine learning, robotics, software, sensors, systems engineering, and operations who will work on automated driving technology.
Latitude is primarily focused on automating moments that can be tedious, stressful, and unpleasant, such as driving in traffic or on long stretches of highway. According to the transportation analytics firm INRIX, the average driver spends nearly 100 hours a year sitting in traffic. Establishing Latitude supports Ford’s strategic shift to focus on automated driving technologies for privately owned vehicles. Therefore, Ford has hired about 550 former employees of Argo AI in machine learning and robotics, cloud platforms, mapping, sensors and compute systems, test operations, systems, and safety engineering. The Latitude team has applied much of their experience in automated driving, including software development tools and infrastructure, to work on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
“We see automated driving technology as an opportunity to redefine the relationship between people and their vehicles,” said Doug Field, Chief Advanced Product Development and Technology Officer of Ford Motor Company. “Customers using BlueCruise are already experiencing the benefits of hands-free driving. The deep experience and talent in our Latitude team will help us accelerate the development of all-new automated driving technology – with the goal of not only making travel safer, less stressful, and more enjoyable, but ultimately over time giving our customers some of their day back.”