Ford Motor Co is considering a deal with other automakers to allow investment in its autonomous car development, Ford chief Jim Hackett is on record as saying.
But while the carmaker has admitted it is in discussions with German carmaker Volkswagen AG about the possibility of inking such an agreement, the Ford CEO has said it’s a “delicate dance”.
Ford already have a partnership to share development opportunities with the German carmaker of light vehicles, although as yet there was no deal on autonomous or electric vehicles.
However Hackett did say talks so far were going well.
Talking to Reuters on Thursday, he said that the partnership was “going better than we thought it would,” and that he and VW chief Herbet Diess, “had a great discussion,” regarding commercial vehicles.
The carmakers are still well and truly competitors, and with Ford’s share price sinking by 22 per cent in 2018 due to difficulties in roll-out plans across Europe, China and Latin America, Hackett said that further collaboration would need to be done with a great deal of care.
“We compete in a bunch of areas as well,” Hackett said.
However with VW set to review its 10 year strategic plan on Thursday, Diess is expected to propose alliances with its competitors in order to help cut development costs for its massive plan to provide the global market with affordable electric vehicles.
Ford already have plans underway for autonomous vehicles, with testing of its self-driving cars developed by Argo AI, in which it has a major stake, underway in four cities in the US.
With testing in Miami, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Washington, D.C., Argo chief Bryan Salesky is on record as saying this will expand to other cities in 2019.
The US carmaker hopes to unleash its self-driving vehicles onto the market by 2021.