Photo of The Factory courtesy of Ford.

Photo of The Factory courtesy of Ford.

Ford Motor Co. is setting up its electrification and autonomous vehicle teams in a historic building in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, and will begin operations in early 2018, the company announced.

The teams, including the newly formed Team Edison, will occupy The Factory, a recently refurbished industrial complex with 110 years of history. More than 220 Ford empoyees will work at the location.

Sherif Marakby, Ford's vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification, will lead the work at the Michigan Avenue brick building complex across from the site of now-demolished Tiger Stadium. The 45,000 square feet of space had been home to factories of Chicago Hosiery and the Detroit-Alaska Knitting Mills.

Ford is planning to begin producing its first autonomous vehicle in 2021 as a "hybrid-electric vehicle with self-driving capability," according to the company.

The Corktown location holds special meaning for executive chairman Bill Ford, whose ancestors came to the Dearborn, Mich., area from County Cork, Ireland. Early settlers of the mostly residential Corktown emigrated there following the Great Irish Potato Famine of 1840.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet