from the chips-on-the-table dept.
Ford Motor Company plans to substantially increase its investment in electric vehicles:
Ford Motor Co's plan to double its electrified vehicle spending is part of an investment tsunami in batteries and electric cars by global automakers that now totals $90 billion and is still growing, a Reuters analysis shows.
That money is pouring in to a tiny sector that amounts to less than 1 percent of the 90 million vehicles sold each year and where Elon Musk's Tesla Inc, with sales of only three models totaling just over 100,000 vehicles in 2017, was a dominant player.
[...] "We're all in," Ford Motor Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr said of the company's $11 billion investment, announced on Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. "The only question is, will the customers be there with us?"
[...] Investments in electrified vehicles announced to date include at least $19 billion by automakers in the United States, $21 billion in China and $52 billion in Germany.
Also at CNBC.
Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:
Ford is already deeply involved with these sorts of investments, but its portfolio is growing once again with an investment in a company building maps for self-driving cars.
Civil Maps' goal is to create a set of high definition maps that self-driving cars can use to navigate. The company takes data from Lidar and cameras and translates it into a format cars can understand. It prides itself on having a small data footprint, making it easier to transmit data to and from vehicles.
"Autonomous vehicles require a totally new kind of map," said Civil Maps CEO Sravan Puttagunta in a statement. "Civil Maps' scalable map generation process enables fully autonomous vehicles to drive like humans do -- identifying on-road and off-road features even when they might be missing, deteriorated or hidden from view and letting a car know what it can expect along its route."
The company received $6.6 million in seed funding from Ford and five other investors. Civil Maps isn't a large company, with just 16 employees on the payroll. Ford's other recent work with startups includes a $182.2 million investment in software company Pivotal, and its Ford Fusion sedan is the basis for an autonomous test car Uber has deployed in Pennsylvania.
Submitted via IRC for SoyCow5743
Ford might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of autonomous vehicles (unless you really like Domino's pizza), but that doesn't mean the automaker is sitting by while everyone else is making leaps and bounds in the space. The company just announced that it's making a $5 million investment in the American Center for Mobility. "This is an investment in the safe, rapid testing and deployment of transformative technology that will help improve peoples' lives," Ford's CTO Ken Washington said in a press release (PDF).
The money puts Ford in the same company as AT&T, Toyota Motor North America and Toyota Research Institute as a founder of the 500 acre Willow Run autonomous vehicle testing campus located outside of Detroit in Ypsilanti Township. Willow Run's first phase is scheduled to open this December. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder called the investment a show of faith from Ford to the world's automotive capital. "As the convergence between the technological and manufacturing sectors continues to grow, it is very encouraging to see great Michigan companies like Ford leading the way toward our future," he said in the same release.