We’ve seen smartphones, tablets and now wearable devices at the peak of the consumer technology evolution. But the world is ready to make a step further to connect our cars, as well. So in order to make sure that it doesn’t get left behind, Ford, one of the oldest automakers in the world, has opened a new Silicon Valley research center in Palo Alto.
The new research and development center in Silicon Valley will be used to speed up technology development and experiments in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles and big data. Dragos Maciuca, an engineer that has previously worked with Apple, will head the facility. Speaking of the launch of the new facility, Ford CEO Mark Fields said the following:
If you give folks meaningful work, you retain them,. The world is facing some big issues, among them the growth of megacities, a boom in the middle class who all want cars, and resulting air-quality impact. We want to help solve these big societal issues, and if that’s not meaningful work, I don’t know what is.
One of the first projects will be the integration of the Nest interface within Ford’s own system. Thus, supposedly when this project comes to an end, you will be able to get emergency alerts right in your car. Ford group vice president Raj Nair makes an interesting remark:
Let’s face it, the car is the biggest consumer electronics device you’re going to own, so the synergy between Silicon Valley and Detroit is understandable. We don’t want customers to pick a $20,000 or more car based on the $200 phone they have in their pocket
To refresh your memory, Ford has developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford, so there’s a spirit of innovation deeply embedded in company’s beliefs. And now it seems the company wants to do the same thing for connected cars.