Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett has opened the Ford Smart Mobility Innovation Office in London, which aims to target the near-term development of smart mobility technologies while focusing on the specific requirements of European cities.
The company says the new office gives a dedicated team of Ford specialists, led by smart mobility director Sarah-Jayne Williams, easy access to world-class digital companies, leading academic institutions, nimble start-ups, and existing partners. It says Ford continues to work on projects with the city to help improve air quality, ease congestion and broaden mobility for Londoners and that having an office in London offers Ford close proximity to its projects and partners; including the plug-in hybrid Transit trial due to launch later this year.
“London is not only one of Europe’s biggest mega-cities, it is also one of the most progressive in its openness to new ideas and new partners, as we work together to create smart vehicles for a smart world,” said Hackett. “Here East is the perfect location for Ford’s European smart mobility hub with Plexal’s incredible talent pool and start-up diversity right on the doorstep.”
The Here East campus is already home to Loughborough University, one of Ford’s longest standing and most significant UK university research partners, as well as the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which has supported Ford’s powertrain research, including this year’s plug-in hybrid Transit development.
The new London office joins Ford’s existing smart mobility offices in Dearborn and Palo Alto and also complements Ford’s global network of research and innovation centres, including RIC Aachen, in Germany.