Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. is collaborating with an Israeli company to deliver driver-assistance systems across its global product lineup. The agreement will bring hands-free driving to the Mustang Mach-E and new F-150.
Mobileye, an Intel company, will provide its EyeQ family of devices and vision-processing software.
“Providing people with extra confidence while driving is invaluable, and it’s exactly what our available Ford Co-Pilot360 features are designed to do,” says Lisa Drake, COO of North America and vice president of global purchasing at Ford. “By customizing Mobileye’s excellent software and sensing technology, Ford’s great driver-assist features will continue to evolve and provide customers with confidence on the road throughout the life of their vehicles.”
Mobileye will support Level 1 systems, which are defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers as automating a single part of the driving experience, such steering or acceleration/braking, while Level 2 systems provide both steering and acceleration/braking support. Both require levels drivers to supervise vehicle performance.
“It is a privilege to extend and expand our long-standing collaboration with a company that is so committed to safety on behalf of its global customer base,” says Amnon Shashua, president and CEO of Mobileye. “We look forward to working closely together to bring these functionalities to market in the full Ford product lineup.”
As part of the agreement, new production vehicles will use Mobileye’s EyeQ computer chips and software to support features under the Ford Co-Pilot360 technology. Mobileye’s technology can identify what the windshield camera in a vehicle can see, including lane markings, traffic signs, pedestrians, and other vehicles to help with lane keeping, auto-high beam headlamps, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. It will also offer active drive assist hands-free driving for the Mustang Mach-E and new F-150.
Ford and Mobileye have worked together for years, but this is the first time Ford is committing to the company’s technology for the entire lifecycle of its next-generation vehicles. Both parties will work with designated Ford Tier 1 providers to supply the technology for vehicle integration. Ford will include Mobileye’s logo in its SYNC driver-assist displays.
New production vehicles will use Mobileye’s EyeQ3 and EyeQ4.
Ford is also evaluating the use of Roadbook in its vehicles. Roadbook uses anonymized, crowd-sourced data from vehicle cameras to build a high-definition map that can be accessed by vehicles and leveraged by driver-assist technology.
In related news, John Mellen, associate general counsel at Ford, will become general counsel effective Aug. 1, assuming responsibility for global legal matters and overseeing the company’s legal team. Mellen, a 39-year Ford veteran, will replace Bradley Gayton, who has accepted a position as senior vice president and general counsel at The Coca-Cola Co. Gayton will help Mellen transition before his last day at Ford on Aug. 31.
Most recently, Mellen managed Ford’s global litigation practice and provided counsel in areas including safety and environmental regulatory compliance, labor and employment, occupational health and safety, and insurance.
Gayton and his team bolstered Ford’s tradition of providing pro bono legal services to underserved neighbors in southeast Michigan and around the globe and established a program to introduce minority high school students to careers in law. His responsibilities for sustainability, environment, and safety engineering; corporate services; global shared service center operations; security; and Ford Land, which manages company facilities and real estate, has yet to be announced.
Jonathan Jennings has been named vice president of global commodity purchasing and supplier technical assistance as well as a corporate officer by Ford’s board of directors, effective Aug. 1. His new assignment is part of a series of organizational moves to further improve fitness and effectiveness in the company’s purchasing division. He succeeds Drake, allowing her to focus on her role as COO for Ford’s North America automotive business.
Jennings will report to Hau Thai-Tang, chief product development and purchasing officer. He will be responsible for all production procurement, together with quality and launch performance of the supply base through the company’s supplier technical assistance program. Jennings joined Ford in 1993 as a manufacturing engineer and has since held positions around the world.