Ford Motor Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields was elected to IBM’s board of directors as the automaker plans to widen its business perspectives.
The automotive industry is changing at a fast pace and the automakers have to quickly adapt to the new trends. It is not strictly a selling-car business anymore, as alternatives to traditional car ownership are expanding. Ford Motor Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields has greater plans for the company, shifting the focus on other mobility projects, such as car-sharing, self-driving technologies and connection services. Besides mergers and acquisitions, building partnerships is a key point of that strategy, and this is the reason behind Fields’s naming on the IBM board of directors. “Mark led the highly successful transformation of his company in a competitive industry where technology has driven innovation. He is leading Ford into a future where cars are not only vehicles, but increasingly becoming mobile technology platforms,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. Ford and IBM are already working together on a pilot platform that allows research scientists to look at tiny pieces of data – 10 or 15 seconds at a time – to spot patterns, correlations and trends, and to write code to make more efficient transportation decisions.
As the Silicon Valley tech companies are to become serious rivals for the automakers, the car manufactures are speeding up the development of self-driving vehicles and other transportation options. Ford is pursuing its own efforts to progress on the autonomous technology area, and said earlier this month it would triple the size of its self-driving car test fleet to 30 vehicles. According to some rumors, Google is turning to Ford for building the internet giant’s future self-driving cars, with negotiations being on the table for some time.