History shows that the evolutionary road of a century-old company often leads directly through Silicon Valley. Ford Motor Company, founded in 1903, is now tapping directly into the Valley’s brand of innovation and design with the opening of a new research lab. What is the aim of Ford’s entry into this epicenter of creativity, and how does it fit with Ford’s strategic future?
Bill Ford, executive chairman, has been an outspoken advocate of Ford’s embrace of new technology for both sustainability and mobility. Ford, the great-grandson of the legendary Henry Ford, has focused much of Ford’s strategy on building smarter, connected and technology-centric automobiles that use real-time computing for everything from engine control to network communications.
In February, he was the first global auto executive to deliver a keynote address at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where he described his vision of the modern automobile as a "mobile platform." Ford sees a world where the car of the future moves through a globally connected communications and transportation grid. He warned of an alternative future of "global gridlock" and also expanded on his view of automobiles made more sustainable through technology.
Bill Ford's vision has been at work for years. For nearly a decade, Ford has been working with technology companies like Microsoft, co-developer of the advanced in-car communication system Ford SYNC, and the MyFord Touch interface. With the promise of vehicle-to-vehicle communications, crowdsourcing and cloud-connected cars, Ford seeks to inaugurate a new age of ubiquitous connectivity. When the car becomes a platform for software developers, what might the future hold?
One hundred years ago, the automobile redefined personal mobility. Over the last decade, innovation in Silicon Valley redefined how we communicate as a society. I am excited to be part of the convergence of Silicon Valley and Detroit to not only further our vehicle technology but also to work toward creating a new, smarter and sustainable transportation ecosystem.
Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company
We look forward to welcoming Bill Ford to the Computer History Museum for a conversation with Museum CEO John Hollar about Ford’s dedication to mobility, his lifelong dedication to sustainability, and Ford’s evolution from a car company into a 21st century experience company.
We are very pleased that KQED Radio will be onsite taping this lecture for future broadcast.
This event is part of our 2012 Revolutionaries speaker series, featuring conversations with some of the most distinguished minds in the computer business. The Revolutionaries speaker series complements the opening of the Museum's permanent exhibition, Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing.
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA, 94043