Ford to open new Smart Mobility Innovation Office in London


Ford has announced it will open a dedicated Smart Mobility Innovation Office in London, UK, that will target the near-term development of smart travel technologies, while focusing on the specific requirements of European cities.

The new office will give a dedicated team of highly skilled Ford specialists easy access to world-class digital companies, leading academic institutions, and existing partners, as it targets the near-term development of smart mobility solutions that meet the needs of Europe’s major cities.

Located on the Here East Campus at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the new office will have an initial capacity for around 40 specialists and is set to open later this year. The London location provides Ford with close proximity to its existing cutting edge trials in the UK capital, including the plug-in hybrid Transit fleet project launching later this year. The Olympic Park’s unique private road network may also be used for testing in the future.

The 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 Center (APC), which Ford has worked with on powertrain research and this year the plug-in hybrid Transit development. Other tenants include the brand new Plexal Innovation Centre and UCL Robotics. The new office joins Ford Smart Mobility’s existing US offices in Dearborn, Michigan, and Palo Alto, California, and also complements its global network of research and innovation centers, including RIC Aachen in Germany.

“Basing our rapidly growing team here in the heart of mobility innovation in London is critical to accelerating our learning and development of new technologies. The location at Here East will allow us greater collaboration, and the out-of-the-box thinking needed to tackle the urban transport challenges of tomorrow,” explained Steven Armstrong, group VP and president of EMEA at Ford.

“We will also be ideally placed to build on existing partner projects and have access to London’s world-class digital talent. Both will be key as we build toward our ambition of being a global leader in mobility solutions.”

Gavin Pool, CEO of Here East, said, “We are unique in providing the space and infrastructure for entrepreneurs, global businesses and academics, to come together and collaborate in the pursuit of innovation. Ford’s decision to join our community of innovators, startups and tech specialists, as part of its drive to find smarter urban mobility solutions, is an exciting development for the entire campus.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).