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Uber swipes a top Ford engineer to fuel self-driving plans

A high-ranking engineer at Ford is hitching a ride with Uber.

Sherif Marakby, previously Ford’s director of global electronics and engineering has taken a job as Uber’s VP of global vehicle programs.

The news was confirmed Uber on Wednesday, The Verge reports.

In his new position, Marakby will head to Pittsburgh to work on “manufacturer strategy and integration efforts.”

Uber has not confirmed whether this includes self-driving vehicles, but the company is on record as having a huge interest in the area.

His new boss, former head of Google Maps Brian McClendon is in charge of self-driving cars at Uber.

In a statement, he said: “Self-driving technology is a hard challenge to solve with enormous potential to improve people’s lives.

“Sherif is a world expert and we’re excited to have him join the team.”

Last month we brought word Uber may be working with Mercedes Benz on snapping up an entire fleet of cars with autonomous features.

In May last year, Uber’s first self-driving cars were spotted out in the wild.

Given the company’s biggest expense is its drivers, its unsurprising Uber is moving in this direction    

In the meantime, while Uber steps on Google’s toes in the self-driving field, Google is believed to be reciprocating.

According to reports in December last year, Google’s self-driving cars could debut as an Uber-like taxi service.

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While the Silicon Valley heavyweights battle it to dominate the new breed of autonomous vehicles, the mainstream car industry continue to lose its best minds.

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