Considering Automotive Tech Training? Learn About Ford’s Latitude System
Auto manufacturers around the world are looking to automated driving systems as a means of making the driving experience safer and more comfortable. Ford was amongst those auto manufacturers before it pulled its funding of Argo AI, forcing the company to shut down. However, Ford has re-entered the field of autonomous driving systems through the foundation of Latitude AI, intending to improve its current BlueCruise system and take it to the next level. As part of your technical training, you’ll learn about the subsystems and control systems of modern hybrids and EVs, including autonomous driving systems which are being implemented extensively.
If you want to learn more about Ford’s Latitude AI system and what it means for you as somebody considering automotive tech training, continue reading!
What is Latitude AI?
Latitude AI is Ford’s new subsidiary company dedicated to creating systems that enable hands-free and unsupervised driving. These systems will be created by the 550 employees that Ford has rehired from Argo AI after Ford stopped funding the company in 2022. Argo AI was primarily focused on developing a level 4 Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), which would be driverless technology. However, Ford has provided new objectives which are more in line with how they see the autonomous driving industry developing. Latitude AI will be based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with engineering hubs in Dearborn, Michigan, and Palo Alto, California.
What Latitude AI’s Objectives Mean For Automotive School Students
Latitude AI was created by Ford to take over the development of its BlueCruise system and improve it. The BlueCruise system is a level 2 ADAS, meaning it can take over vehicle steering, acceleration, and depending on the situation, braking. However, it requires near full-time focus from the driver and for them to take over control when needed. Ford wants to improve the system up to a level 3 ADAS, meaning that drivers will be able to focus on and do other things while the vehicle drives itself. Ford sees level 4 ADAS as a concept for the future and not something that needs to be worked towards immediately.
Throughout automotive tech training and in your career, you‘ll develop an understanding of these autonomous driving systems and how they function. Depending on the level of autonomy the vehicle possesses, the more complex the autonomous systems will be as they require more technology to provide more features. During your training, you may receive a classroom-based introduction to these autonomous systems, accompanied by some practical training. This will help you service these systems and understand if and where there is a fault with the ADAS.
What This Means for Ford and its Customers
With Ford preferring to develop level 2 and 3 ADAS, it is believed it would prefer to offer this as a subscription fee for its customers and implement level 4 ADAS when it is profitable to do so. Ford CEO Jim Farley stated, “We’re optimistic about a future for L4 ADAS, but profitable, fully autonomous vehicles at scale are a long way off, and we won’t necessarily have to create that technology ourselves.” In this quote, it can be noted that Ford doesn’t necessarily believe that they will have to develop level 4 ADAS and that this will become available through other means.
The ADAS space can rapidly develop at any critical breakthrough that may occur. Your automotive school training equips you with the foundational pieces required to work with these systems and understand the developments likely to occur in the coming years. Thus, putting you in a great position in the automotive technology industry.
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