Laura Merling has held executive roles at SAP and AT&T.
Ford Motor Co. has taken another step toward its goal of having fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2021.
The automaker today named Laura Merling, who runs a consultancy firm for the integration of connected technology, as its vice president of autonomous vehicle solutions. The new role, which was created under the Ford Smart Mobility subsidiary, will be based in Palo Alto, Calif., and will be responsible for bringing self-driving vehicles to the commercial market.
“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 Jim Hackett, Ford Smart Mobility chairman, in a statement.
Merling sits on the boards of connectivity startups such as Wivity and Alluvium.io. Previously, she was the executive vice president of Internet of Things for SAP and vice president of enterprise digital transformation for AT&T.