Ford Motor CEO Mark Fields seems ready to boast the company’s high-tech prowess, with the blue oval getting ready to open later today a Silicon Valley R&D center that could become the one of the auto industry’s biggest.
The new division, constructed in Palo Alto, California and named the Ford Research & Innovation Center, is just 3 miles away from the prestigious Stanford University and also in close vicinity of the headquarters of Tesla Motors, the well-known electric vehicle manufacturer. This signals the recent years surge of automakers – from Mercedes-Benz, Nissan to the Volkswagen Group – that have decided to breach Silicon Valley, the American computer industry core, as they seek talented engineers and partner with technology giants such as Apple, Google and Intel. Initially smallish when compared to automaker’s offsprings in Germany, Japan and Michigan, the centers have quickly grown in importance because of their ongoing involvement into cutting-edge technologies such as autonomous driving and in-car computing and communication.
Fields, together with Ford Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair and Ken Washington, Ford’s vice president of research and advanced engineering are scheduled to make an appearance at the opening ceremony – with the company chief executive officer being a frequent visitor of the region as he quests new technologies and business models. “We’re driving to be both a product and a mobility company, and ultimately to change the way the world moves,” Fields commented during a keynote appearance earlier this month during the International CES convention in Las Vegas.
Via Automotive News