Ford’s Electric F-Series Pickup to Enable Driving at 60mph While You Sleep: CEO
Ford Motor Co. has ambitious plans for its next electric F-Series pickup, with driver-assistance features so advanced that drivers might even be able to take a nap while traveling at 60 miles per hour.
In Friday’s interview with Bloomberg Television, Ford CEO Jim Farley suggested that drivers could potentially sleep or make calls as their truck autonomously handles highway driving.
It remains to be seen what self-driving tech Ford will be implementing. Ford and Volkswagen had previously invested billions into self-driving project Argo AI, which shut down in October 2022.
“On the highway on a sunny day, you should be able to go to sleep in your truck or make a call or do whatever you want to do in your truck while it drives for you,” said Farley, adding “It will be completely digital. It’s a really breakthrough product.”
The West Tennessee-based electric F-Series pickup factory is currently under construction, with Ford projecting an annual production of half a million trucks, a significant increase from their November forecast. The automaker aims to reverse its electric vehicle (EV) losses, estimated to reach $3 billion this year.
The Stanton plant, Ford’s first all-new assembly facility in 50 years, is part of a $5.6 billion complex called BlueOval City. The six-square mile compound, set to open in 2025, will house a battery factory by South Korea’s SK On and provide employment for 6,000 workers. Ford’s higher output implies that the Tennessee plant would account for a quarter of the 2 million EVs the company plans to build annually by the end of 2026.
With a $50 billion investment in EV development and production by 2026, Ford is striving to compete with Tesla Inc., which currently dominates two-thirds of the US battery-powered vehicle market. Ford has set a target of an 8% margin on EV earnings before interest and taxes by 2026.
Bill Ford, executive chairman and great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, said, “BlueOval City is the blueprint for Ford’s electric future around the world.” Ford also unveiled the code name for the electric truck to be built in Tennessee, distinct from its popular F-150 Lightning plug-in pickup built in Michigan. Known internally as Project T3 or “Trust the Truck,” the new battery-powered pickup will be capable of towing and hauling, while also being “fully updatable” through software downloads.
Ford’s Project T3 will be built starting in 2025 and will be capable of making 500,000 electric trucks at full production per year, says the company.