Ford Motor Company has announced plans to open a new research and development center in the heart of Atlanta, a well-known and diverse technology hub. The center will be located in a 24,000-square-foot space on Atlanta’s Upper West Side.
The Ford Atlanta Research and Innovation Center, or FARIC, will join current Ford R&D operations in Tel Aviv and Palo Alto, California. Ford says the center will focus on developing software solutions for digitally connected vehicles and artificial intelligence applications.
“Ford is transitioning from a traditional automotive company to a digital products and services company driven by software innovation,” said Jim Buczkowski, Executive Director of Advanced Engineering for Ford Research. “There’s a high demand for tech talent across industries, and we have an opportunity to create non-traditional career pathways to attract and develop the expertise needed to stay competitive.”
A news release from the company described Atlanta as one of the most diverse tech talent markets in the country. Choosing this location was designed to back a mission of increasing Black, Hispanic, and female representation in software engineering and other “high technology” careers.
Ford says it will leverage relationships with regional colleges and universities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Atlanta University Center Consortium, to further that goal.
Ford also announced that the city of Atlanta would host its next City: One Challenge, a crowdsourcing program created by the company that has already distributed more than $1 million in grant funding to mobility pilots across the country.
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