Driving Innovation in Silicon Valley

A growing Ford team is creating new connections between automotive and computer technology in the birthplace of the digital revolution.

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For the engineers of Silicon Valley, mobility is traditionally measured in megabits per second rather than miles per hour. But now a team of advanced researchers, engineers and scientists at Ford is creating new connections between automotive and computer technology in the birthplace of the digital revolution. 
““Ford has always turned to different regions for different specialties. Now that focus is starting to pivot toward the software side of things and the services it can provide through technology.””

In January 2015, Ford opened the doors to its new Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto. Over time, the 25,000 square foot facility at Stanford Research Park will become home to more than 120 employees, giving Ford one of the largest automotive research teams in the area and a major presence in one of the most dynamic, innovative business cultures in the world.

The effort is a big leap forward from 2012, when a small Ford team landed in an office building in downtown Palo Alto. The expanded Research and Innovation Center team, which includes new hires as well as transfers, will play a key role in advancing the Ford Smart Mobility initiative by accelerating innovation in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and big data.

This new investment is already producing results. Ford researchers are partnering with their neighbors at Nest to explore ways to integrate the group’s home monitoring data with Ford SYNC 3. The bike-friendly culture of the Bay Area has helped foster two initiatives: The Info Cycle mobility project is gathering data about how bikes are used in urban transportation and the MoDe:Flex modular electric-assisted bicycle is showing the world Ford is thinking broadly about the future of mobility.

These projects and others currently underway are the first step in turning the energy and disruptive thinking of Silicon Valley into exciting products for Ford customers. As technology evolves, the Research and Innovation Center will help ensure Ford remains a leader in automotive innovation for years to come. 

Moving Mobility Forward

The Info Cycle project is helping bicyclists navigate crowded urban streets.

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