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Model Predictive Control (MPC) is an established control technique in chemical process control, due to its capability of optimally controlling multivariable systems with constraints on plant and actuators. In recent years, the advances in MPC algorithms and design processes, the increased computational power of electronic control units, and the need for improved performance, safety and reduced emissions, have drawn considerable interest in MPC from the automotive industry. In this paper we survey the investigations of MPC in the automotive industry with particular focus on the developments at Ford Motor Company. First, we describe the basic MPC techniques used in the automotive industry, and the early exploratory investigations. Then we present three applications that have been recently prototyped in fully functional production-like vehicles, highlighting the features that make MPC a good candidate strategy for each case. We finally present our perspectives on the next challenges and future applications of MPC in the automotive industry.