Ford to Test New Self-driving Vehicle Technology in 2018

Mark Truby, the company's communications chief, said in an email to Bloomberg that Ford is investing an additional $200 million and adding 150 jobs as part of the plan. However, Ford has still not decided whether to operate its own on-demand transportation service.

Ford has dropped a flurry of news in recent weeks in an effort to change the perception within the industry that it is trailing General Motors and Google's Waymo spinoff in the race to introduce a reliable and safe autonomous vehicle for ride-sharing purposes.

GM unveiled plans last week to introduce its own on-demand ride-sharing service in several US cities in 2019, using self-driving versions of the battery-powered Chevrolet Bolt.

Ford announced last January that it would invest $700 million and hire 700 workers to make electric and autonomous vehicles at its Flat Rock plant near Detroit. Sending manufacture of the electric SUV to Mexico where labor is less costly will help Ford's business case, but is expected to not sit well with President Donald Trump who has been very critical of any automotive companies farming out production to foreign countries.

Ford Motor Company says it will shift future production of a forthcoming electric vehicle to Mexico instead of building it at the Flat Rock Assembly plant in MI as it had planned.

Both the 2020 electric and the 2021 self-driving vehicles will draw on the next-generation Ford Focus for some of their underbody structure and components while using different propulsion systems.

"During the 2015 negotiations with Ford, we secured significant product investment for our members at the Flat Rock assembly plant and other manufacturing facilities in the USA", said UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles.

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