Tuesday, March 21, 2023
News Ford Announces Production Increases and a New Push for Autonomous Technologies

Ford Announces Production Increases and a New Push for Autonomous Technologies

Ford announced the creation of a new "autonomous vehicles" branch and increases in the production of many models.

  • The company launched Latitude AI from the Bones of the Former Argo AI.

  • Focus will be on a level 3 driver assistance system.

  • The Mustang Mach-E, Bronco Sport, Maverick, F-150 (including Lightning), Transit, and E-Transit will see a boost in production.

Late last year, Ford and Volkswagen shut down Argo AI which was their joint project to develop fully autonomous vehicles.

Now, Ford has just announced the launch of Latitude AI from the bones of this earlier attempt.

Indeed, the new company is headquartered in Pittsburgh, as was Argo AI, and most of its 550 employees come from the defunct entity.

Unlike Argo AI, however, Latitude AI is entirely owned by Ford and its focus will be on developing a level 3 driver assistance system rather than a fully autonomous technology that could be used in robotaxis.

This system will be an enhancement of the current BlueCruise which is a level 2 system since it will allow drivers to look away from the road and remove their hands from the steering wheel under certain circumstances.

In other news, Ford announced it will significantly increase the production runs of some of its most popular models in order to catch up with demand after three years of supply problems.

This is why the Mustang Mach-E could see its production double to reach an output of 210,000 units per year at the end of December while production of the F-150 Lightning could triple to reach 150,000 units over the same period despite an ongoing pause which should resolve in about ten days.

It’s not only electric vehicles that will see this boost in output since Ford is also working on ways to speed up its assembly line in Dearborn which makes the gasoline and hybrid versions of the F-150.

In addition, the Bronco Sport and the Maverick could add 80,000 units combined to their total production by the end of the year in order to better supply both the North and South American markets.

Finally, the Transit and E-Transit delivery vans are also expected to reach more buyers this year than in 2022 due to the addition of a third shift at the Kansas City Assembly Plant which should account for another 38,000 units on top of the current output.

Source: Motor Authority and Ford

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