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Ford to Move Engineers to University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex for Autonomous Vehicle Research

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University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex

Ford announced on Thursday that it will be teaming up with the University of Michigan to place its researchers and engineers at a new robotics laboratory located on the university’s Ann Arbor campus when it opens in 2020.

When the North Campus Research Complex opens in 2020, Ford says it will install at least a dozen researchers there to further their work on autonomous vehicle research and development. Last November, Ford became the first automaker to test self-driving vehicles at U- M’s MCity simulated urban environment.

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“Ford engineers and researchers will begin working shoulder-to-shoulder with U-M faculty and students to test and learn about autonomous vehicle technology and innovation,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “We are aiming to show the world what we can achieve when leaders in business and academia work together to make people’s lives better.”

Plans call for Ford engineers to work on the fourth floor of U-M’s new robotics laboratory, which is expected to cover 140,000-square-feet on Hayward Street just east of the Space Research Building.

Ford and U-M also announced that professors Matthew Johnson-Roberson and Ram Vasudevan will head up its autonomous vehicle research team, which will consist of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other researchers.

It was also announced that Professor Jessy Grizzle has been appointed Director of Robotics for the College of Engineering; Grizzle has worked for the university for nearly 30 years, and in that time, he has been a consultant for Ford who has helped facilitate the relationship between the College of Engineering and Ford’s engineers.

The announcement that Ford will have at least 12 researchers in its employ in the United States in 2020 runs directly counter to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s assertion that Ford intends to “fire all their employees.”

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