Ford open to working with foreign rivals on driverless cars
Ford is open to working with other carmakers to expand self-driving services internationally, said during an interview with the Financial Times the head of the American carmaker’s autonomous vehicles business Sherif Marakby, adding weight to speculation it may partner with Volkswagen on driverless cars.
Ford and Volkswagen are conducting "broad" collaborative talks in a number of areas, both companies have confirmed.
"The autonomous vehicle development and business costs billions and billions of dollars in one region, so when trying to deploy this across multiple regions it totally makes sense to be joining in on the risk and the reward.”
With this in mind, the opportunity to co-invest not only in technology, but in business and in go-to-market and share profits makes sense, "said Marakby.
Also Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen, said that the ongoing talks could lead to sharing the electric car platform with Ford and the two companies to collaborate for production in the United States.
Ford is also negotiating with possible external investors for its Autonomous Vehicles division and is focusing on the implementation of the services that will be launched starting in 2021, so as to deploy the offer on a large scale.
Ford is currently testing potential services in Miami and Washington DC working with Domino and Postmates and plans to announce a third US city next year.
"Over time Ford will deploy tens of thousands of vehicles in its autonomous driving services," said Marakby.
The company is considering a hub-and-spoke delivery system that allows vehicles to transport mail and parcels to mini-deposits, evaluating the use of drones to take packages to their final destination.