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Ford today launched Latitude AI, a subsidiary developing new automated driving technology. The company will focus on creating a hands-free, eyes-off-the-road automated driving system for next-generation Ford vehicles.
This new self-driving company is taking on 550 employees that were part of Argo AI, Ford’s previous self-driving project that was shut down in October 2022. These employees worked across machine learning and robotics, cloud platforms, mapping, sensors and compute systems, test operations, systems and safety engineering.
Latitude AI will support Ford’s strategic shift that came last year to focus more on creating automated driving technologies for personally owned vehicles. This separates Latitude from Argo AI, which focused on creating autonomous robotaxis.
Latitude AI’s work will build off of Ford’s hands-free, highway-driving technology called BlueCruise, which has already logged more than 50 million miles. Latitude hopes to automate the parts of driving that can be the most tedious, stressful and unpleasant, it said, like bumper-to-bumper traffic or long stretches of highway.
This shift will also set itself apart from autonomous vehicle companies like Cruise and Waymo, which are both focused on creating autonomous robotaxis, and puts itself in the same ring as Tesla’s Full Self-Driving beta software, which recently underwent a recall.
“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, Ford Motor Company. “Customers using BlueCruise are already experiencing the benefits of hands-off 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.”
Sammy Omari, executive director of ADAS technologies at Ford, will serve as the CEO of Latitude AI. Ford appointed Peter Carr as the company’s chief technology officer, who will oversee Latitude’s product and technical development and David Gollob as president. Gollob will be responsible for the company’s business operations.
“We believe automated driving technology will help improve safety while unlocking all-new customer experiences that reduce stress and in the future will help free up a driver’s time to focus on what they choose,” Omari said. “The expertise of the Latitude team will further complement and enhance Ford’s in-house global ADAS team in developing future driver-assist technologies, ultimately delivering on the many benefits of automation.”
Latitude AI is headquartered in Pittsburgh, where Argo AI was located and has additional engineering hubs in Dearborn, Michigan and Palo Alto, California. The company also operates a highway-speed test track facility in Greenville, South Carolina.