Latitude AI is a new, wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford with a specific focus on developing hands-free, eyes-off-road driver assistance tech. The team includes 550 employees formerly of Argo AI with experience in machine learning, robotics, mapping, and sensors.
"The expertise of the Latitude team will further complement and enhance Ford’s in-house global ADAS team in developing future driver assist technologies, ultimately delivering on the many benefits of automation," said Sammy Omari, Latitude's CEO and executive director of ADAS technologies at Ford.
Gallery: Ford Establishes Latitude AI
Latitude AI's work will include developing advancements for Ford's BlueCruise driver assistance tech. It will focus on automating motoring during tedious or stressful times like bumper-to-bumper traffic and on long stretches of highway.
Latitude will have its headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and will operate a highway-speed test track in Greenville, South Carolina. It'll also have engineering centers in Dearborn, Michigan, and in Palo Alto, California.
Ford announced BlueCruise in 2021 and introduced it to vehicles in 2022. The Mustang Mach-E and F-150 were the first to get the feature. Some Lincoln models also get the tech, but the brand uses the branding ActiveGlide for the system.
In 2022, Ford introduced an upgraded version 1.2 of BlueCruise. It added hands-free lane changes to the system's capabilities. The improvements also included improved in-lane response to other vehicles and a better ability to adjust speeds when approaching a curve. There were 130,000 miles (209,215 kilometers) of supported highways, which was up from 100,000 miles (160,934 kilometers) when BlueCruise launched.
In January 2023, Consumer Reports tested 12 advanced driver assist systems. The publication gave BlueCruise a score of 84, which was the best of the group. General Motors' Super Cruise tech was second place by earning a 75. Mercedes-Benz was third with a 72. Tesla Autopilot was in seventh place with a score of 61.