Ford will spend $4 billion over five years on a new subsidiary called Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC to develop a self-driving car by 2021.
To do so, Ford said Tuesday that it installed Sherif Marakby, who led up Uber's self-driving car division for a year, to lead the subsidiary as its CEO. Under Marakby, Ford Autonomous Vehicles will be responsible for developing self-driving car technology, integrating both hardware and software into the automaker's vehicle designs, and studying how to provide transportation as a service platform.
“Now is the right time to consolidate our autonomous driving platform into one team to best position the business for the opportunities ahead," Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement.
Hackett said last fall that the automaker's first self-driving vehicle will be a commercial vehicle rather than one marketed to consumers.
Ford's $4 billion investment includes $1 billion it committed last year to Pittsburgh-based Argo AI, an artificial intelligence and robotics firm at the forefront of self-driving car technology.
Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC won't be based at its suburban Detroit headquarters but instead in the Motor City's revitalized Corktown neighborhood where it recently acquired the historic and long-abandoned Michigan Central train station.