On the same day that it has revealed it is “exploring” a potential strategic alliance with Volkswagen, US auto maker Ford has announced plans to build a new hub in Detroit’s Michigan Central Station where it will work with “thinkers, engineers, and problem-solvers” to develop autonomous and electric vehicles and “shape the future of mobility and transportation”.
In a statement issued yesterday (19 June), Bill Ford, the company’s executive chairman, said: “Michigan Central Station is a place that in many ways tells the story of Detroit over the past century.
“We at Ford want to help write the next chapter, working together in Corktown with the best startups, the smartest talent, and the thinkers, engineers, and problem-solvers who see things differently – all to shape the future of mobility and transportation.”
The statement added: “The future of transportation requires more than new vehicles – or even self-driving vehicles. It requires smart vehicles that can communicate with an increasingly smart and connected world. That’s why Ford is developing a Transportation Mobility Cloud – an open platform that manages information flow and transactions between different services – to help cities optimize their various modes of transit. The company is also committed to ensuring vehicles can communicate with tech-enabled surroundings to reduce CO2, lower congestion, and improve safety.”
In its official statement regarding the potential alliance with Volkswagen, Ford said that the two companies are “investigating several joint projects”, which could include “developing a range of commercial vehicles together”.
Ford added that: “The potential alliance would not involve equity arrangements, including cross ownership stakes.”