There has been quite a bit of technology news coming from Ford over the past week including its announcement of the new Silicon Valley Lab opening and its SYNC system being enshrined in the computer museum.
Founder namesake and Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford was on hand in California to participate in both events saying, “We have been innovating for more than a century at Ford, but we acknowledge we don’t have a monopoly on creativity. Our new office will complement our existing research efforts by allowing us to tap into the region that has been driving consumer technology forward in recent decades.”
Ford’s new Silicon Valley Lab is now open in Palo Alto, a region at the heart and soul of the technology industry today. The new lab will operate with a mission centered around three priorities: Big data, open-source innovation, and user experience to enhance future personal mobility.
“We want Silicon Valley to view Ford as a platform that is open, accessible, and ready for their innovative ideas and technologies,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “We are looking for unexpected solutions for the future, and we believe Silicon Valley is the right place to round out our global research organization.
“We view technology as more than just an impressive list of microprocessors, sensors and software,” he added. “It is the enabler of a safe, intuitive and enjoyable time behind the wheel.”
Ford’s SYNC driver infotainment technology was co-developed with Microsoft (who, by the way, is not located in Silicon Valley). It was added as part of the Computer History Museum’s permanent collection this week, joining notable giants such as IBM, Apple, Cray, and Google.
“We are honored. SYNC has helped us move faster than what is usually assumed of an automaker, providing a new level of openness and access that has forever changed how we look at our business and respond to our customers,” said Mascarenas. “Ultimately, SYNC embodies what Ford is all about: Going further to transform innovative ideas into products that are affordable, attainable, and valuable to millions of people.”
“When we first teamed up with Ford nearly a decade ago, we knew we wanted to develop a system that connected consumers’ digital lifestyles to the vehicle they love today, and seamlessly for years to come – regardless of the device,” said Kevin Dallas, general manager, Windows Embedded at Microsoft. “Having SYNC inducted into the Computer History Museum’s collection is a testament to the system’s groundbreaking innovation and to all of the hard work of our engineers, both in Dearborn and Redmond, to deliver a product that continues to meet consumers’ evolving needs and exceed expectations.”
SYNC debuted in the 2008 Focus, Ford’s most affordable car offering at the time, as a $395 option. By early 2012, more than 4 million SYNC-equipped vehicles were on the road.