William Clay Ford, Jr. – called Bill Ford – and its CEO Mark Fields have a clear message: We have managed to survive the crisis without government assistance. Now we want more. Last in the so-called press conference of the company in front of around 4,000 journalists, employees and dealers at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (NAIAS – even to 24 January), the two were clear: the role of fast followers, the latest technologies then marketed, if they are affordable, they no longer enough. They want to be active as a technology driver and recognized. The audience was thrilled, and – following the American style – clapped journalists applauded
what was happening in the hall with the name of boxing world champion Joe Louis, was more than the motivation event in recent years.. This was a challenge to the other in the market. On the huge stage acted only the two Ford sizes with an interviewer. You went there not so much about new products that auffuhren behind them. It was about a new way of thinking to the demonstration of strength.
Already in December Mark Fields had said clearly how offensive he imagines the future development. Ford will offer within the next five years 13 new models with an electrified drive. By the end of the decade, 40 percent of all the company’s models will compete with either hybrid, with plug-in hybrid or battery powered world. Five billion euros, the Group wants to take it in the period up to 2020 in addition to the hand. At the same time and also in the environment of the NAIAS, Ford the role out while autonomous driving. They had with 30 test vehicles, the largest fleet in the world, so long ride on public roads and have by far covered most kilometers autonomously. Embassy: Actually, we are the most
Against this background, the invitation of a small group of international journalists to “Ford Smart Mobility Tour” fits with a visit to the “Ford Research and Innovation Center” in Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley. Palo Alto is embedded into the system of global Ford development centers, according to Dearborn in Michigan and the German location Aachen. Dave Kaminsiki, the Lab Director, the task his team looks in finding technologies and evaluate. In this he includes expressly also the trends in the development of society.
“Here in the Valley it comes to networking,” he says, stressing they were in contact with some 200 startups and universities, including the five most important in environment, for example, Stanford and Berkeley. “They are all here,” he says and shows a graph on which the names of all major automotive manufacturers and suppliers. “The relationships between them are much closer than one would think at the relevant role in the market,” he points to lift the prospects of cooperation.
As the big headlines of his work he calls the progressive number of megacities with its traffic problems, the management of growth, which sees Ford especially in the middle class, the air quality and the behavior of consumers. Given his team worked the possibilities of connectivity especially the Internet, searching for future forms of mobility, the demands of consumers and the specific handling of data for the benefit of the people.
He is not alone just in Silicon Valley. All the many companies on its graphics to the automotive locations in Valley deal with the same tasks and work ever with the same partners in startups and universities. So much parallelism surprising poses problems, but also offers opportunities. Dave Kaminski and his colleague Director Dragos Maciuca will be faced more often with the question of what may stand out as a specific for Ford result at the end, which is the new claim justice for technological leadership.
The agglomeration of creativity and tech in Silicon Valley can also develop a normative power. If all talk to each other, the trends are not able to develop so far apart that the automotive world splits in completely different directions of development. But the more difficult the so long-awaited by the marketing differentiation from the others.
We have seen in Palo Alto, that Ford are working on the fusion of sensors with as few sensors have a clear picture of the situation to win. We were able to see how they can simulate autonomous driving in the computer and may have a look at their methods of pedestrian detection.
What we saw, we did not see for the first time. Surely colleagues of Kaminski and Maciuca have not shown us anything that is processed in its labs that. But so much has become visible again after this visit to the Silicon Valley: All who struggle here to the technology of tomorrow, will secure us at the end of the day, vernetztere, bring comfortable, autonomous driving car. Who competes in this difficult obstacle course, shows that he wants to achieve technical leadership. Ford wants and has the resources. Let’s see what the two leaders will tell us next year in the Joe Louis Arena.
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