(Reuters) – Ford Motor Co on Thursday launched a new automated driving system subsidiary, Latitude AI, months after winding down operations of its former self-driving technology unit Argo AI.
Carmakers including Mercedes-Benz have ramped up their investments towards integrating more software and autonomous tech in vehicles despite some skepticism on the technology.
Latitude will expand on the company’s existing BlueCruise technology, which already offers hands-free highway driving on certain models.
The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker added it hired about 550 employees who previously worked at Argo AI for its new subsidiary.
Ford, which jointly ran Argo with Volkswagen AG, booked a $2.7 billion non-cash pre-tax impairment on its investment in the unit and laid off some employees.
Latitude, which will be led by Ford’s executive director of ADAS Technologies, Sammy Omari, is headquartered in Pittsburgh with additional engineering hubs in Dearborn, Michigan and Palo Alto, California.
(Reporting by Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru)