Ford Takes Another Punt on Driverless Tech

Ford looks set on having a second stab at developing driverless technology just months after losing billions of dollars on the failed Argo AI enterprise.

The automaker this week launched a new automated driving system subsidiary, Latitude AI, that some see as it trying to hedge its bets after rivals, such as Mercedes-Benz, have been ramping up investments towards integrating more software and autonomous tech in vehicles despite a lot of skepticism on the technology for the near-term, reports Reuters. Latitude will expand on the company’s existing BlueCruise technology, which already offers hands-free highway driving on certain models.

Ford added that it hired about 550 employees who previously worked at Argo AI for its new subsidiary. It had jointly run Argo with Volkswagen, racking up a $2.7Bn non-cash pre-tax loss on its investment in the unit.

Latitude will be led by Ford’s executive director of ADAS Technologies, Sammy Omari, and be based in Pittsburgh with additional engineering hubs in Dearborn, Michigan and Palo Alto, California.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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