FRANKFURT — According to two individuals with an understanding of the debates, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen are anticipated to sign an agreement as quickly as next week to share the cost of creating independent vehicles and making electric cars.
The arrangement, which is likely to be approved by the supervisory board of Volkswagen on Thursday, would deepen a current pick-up truck alliance between the businesses but would be much more ambitious. It would be the recent instance of how long-term rivals join forces in the automotive industry during a period of exceptional ferment.
Self-driving battery-powered vehicles can eliminate tailpipe emissions and prevent human error accidents. However, for established carmakers such as Ford and Volkswagen, a fast change toward these technologies could be dangerous.
In the coming years, they have to spend hundreds of billions of dollars or risk becoming meaningless. Also, with access to substantial economic resources, they face fresh rivals like Google and Uber. Investors were far more prepared to support Silicon Valley businesses than the Detroit or Wolfsburg dinosaurs where Volkswagen is based.