Customers and Products
Innovative, Sustainable Materials
For nearly two decades, researchers have worked successfully to develop sustainable materials for Ford products. In North America, soy foam is in every Ford vehicle. Coconut fiber backs trunk liners; recycled tires and soy are in mirror gaskets; recycled T-shirts and denim go into carpeting; and recycled plastic bottles become REPREVE fabric used in the 2016 F-150.
Recently, a team took inspiration from plants to find a use for excess CO2, sequestering (capturing) it to make durable plastics to use in vehicles.
Leading and Partnering in Research and Innovation
At the same time as maintaining our leadership in product design, we also are collaborating with specialist partners on next-generation mobility solutions.
Continuing the Quest for Better Fuel Economy
As part of our continuing focus on vehicle fuel economy and performance, we are making a $200 million investment in a new wind tunnel complex in Allen Park, Michigan. With construction starting in 2017, the complex will house new and innovative technology that delivers state-of-the-art real-world driving simulations to advance improvements.
Expanding Opportunities in Future Mobility
As part of our business model expansion to an auto and a mobility company, we plan to capitalize on emerging ecosystems on our own or through partnerships and acquisitions. These areas range from connected telematics, sharing, paying and charging to vehicle management and financing.
Fostering the Startup Community
The TechStars Mobility initiative is a Ford-sponsored program now in its second year, designed to help accelerate each business and fuel partnership opportunities across the automotive industry. We are collaborating with several startups from 2016 Techstars Mobility to enhance navigation, connectivity and ride-sharing initiatives:
- Spatial is a Cincinnati-based company that provides a dynamic, human-driven layer of social intelligence to create mapping and navigation
- Chicago-based HAAS Alert is a connected notification platform that warns motorists when emergency vehicles are approaching
- Cargo is a New York-based in-vehicle general store, helping ride-share drivers cater to passengers
Supporting Research into On-Demand Models
Ford’s collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, is an innovative mobility research project to improve demand prediction models for mobility-on-demand services. This is measuring pedestrian flow to ultimately help predict demand for electric shuttles operating on city roads and campus walkways at MIT.