As Ford notches its 115th anniversary, the company celebrated its purchase of an iconic Detroit landmark with an eye toward the "smart cities" future we heard about at CES. Michigan Central Station served as a main passenger hub for the city once it opened in 1913, but the train station and 18-story office tower has been empty and unused since 1988. Now a massive restoration project will make the building a part of Ford's planned Corktown campus, with 2,500 Ford employees working in the area by 2022 plus 2,500 employees of other businesses.
The expectation is that, along with its partners, there will be work on "autonomous and electric vehicles, and design urban mobility services and solutions that include smart, connected vehicles, roads, parking and public transit." It'll use the rest of the space for residential, retail and community space.
While those preparations take place, Ford already has a "Team Edison" working on projects like the Mach 1 electric performance SUV that it plans to release in 2020. Chairman Bill Ford told Autoblog "There will be a lot of mobility-related jobs, so what does that look like? There will certainly be software engineers, but there will also be people creating businesses around mobility. Think of a lot of services that will be created around that. So they will be here too. It won't be just technical people."