Laura Merling New VP of Autonomous Vehicle Solutions for Ford Smart Mobility
Ford has announced Laura Merling as its new vice president of Autonomous Vehicles Solutions for Ford Smart Mobility LLC. In her role, Merling will be based in Palo Alto, CA and report to Ford Smart Mobility LLC Chairman Jim Hackett.
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“While Ford’s technical teams invent and further develop the technology of autonomous vehicles, we need to invent and develop the commercialization strategy to connect this technology with the uses and users that will truly change the way the world moves,” said Hackett. “Laura has deep experience innovating strategy and platform development for both start up and corporate organizations. She also brings a significant external network through her Internet of Things consultancy and start up board advisory roles.”
Merling is currently serving and will continue to serve as an advistor for startups such as Wivity, Thin Systems, Allumvium.io, and Authentise. She operates her own consultancy, which focuses on how hardware, firmware, and software all connect in the Internet of Things. Before that, she served as global GM and executive VP of Internet of Things for SAP, a role proceeded by her tenure as the vice president of enterprise digital transformation for AT&T. Her experience working in Silicon Valley spans more than 20 years.
“I am excited by the opportunity to be part of the biggest change in transportation in more than a century,” said Merling. “The challenge of building the business models to commercialize autonomous vehicles perfectly aligns with the more than two decades I’ve spent working on the edge of innovation and business.”
Ford Smart Mobility LLC was established earlier this year as a means to expand Ford’s business model to include becoming a mobility company. Aspects of Ford Smart Mobility include ride-sharing, urban mobility solutions, app development, and the proliferation of autonomous vehicle technology.
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