The car maker could use Here East’s private roads for testing autonomous driving systems
Ford plans to open a technology innovation hub in London focusing on developing smart transportation tech and paving the way for driverless cars in the capital.
The Smart Mobility Innovation Centre will be housed at London’s Here East centre, a business hub build around the legacy of the 2012 Olympics held in the rejuvenated East London area of Statford.
The car maker will bring a team of specialists to the innovation centre, due to open later this year, and will aim to work with other skilled people in the area to develop car technology and potentially test smart mobility systems on Here East’s private roads.
“Basing our rapidly growing team here in the heart of mobility innovation in London is critical to accelerating our learning and development of new technologies,” said Steven Armstrong, Ford’s vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“The location at Here East will allow us greater collaboration and the out-of-the-box thinking needed to tackle the urban transport challenges of tomorrow.
“We will also be ideally placed to build on existing partner projects and have access to London’s world-class digital talent. Both will be key as we build towards our ambition of being a global leader in mobility [technology].”
It would appear that Ford’s continued pursuit of mobility technology is a means by which it can stay relevant in an automotive world being shaken-up by the likes of ride-sharing companies such as Uber and its experimentation with driverless cars.
Ford’s cars have long enjoyed mass market appear with a combination of solid quality at fair prices, but to appear to be moving with the times, Ford seems to be accelerating its adoptions and development of car tech.
With driverless car testing underway in London’s Greenwich borough, and the UK government’s interest in the development of self-driving vehicles, Ford appears to have picked a good spot in which to push its smart mobility tech and autonomous driving systems.
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