Ford to setup shop in Silicon Valley

Ford's West Coast Innovation NetworkFord is planning to open up its first lab dedicated to research this year in Silicon Valley to help the automaker move forward with technological advancements.

The lab’s focus will be on current technologies such as EcoBoost, MyKey, Sync, and inflatable rear safety belts, along with future technologies. More details will be announced by Ford President and CEP Alan Mulally on January 11 at the International CES for the Innovation Power Panel keynote.

“Silicon Valley represents a deep and dynamic technology neighborhood and is far from Dearborn,” said K. Venkatesh Prasad, senior technical leader for open innovation with Ford Research and Innovation. “With so many opportunities and so much potential, our new lab will allow us to scout new technologies and partners in their own environment and continue our expansion beyond the traditional automaker mindset to drive innovation for a better mobility experience.”

Employees at the lab will be a modest number of locally recruited outside professionals and some brought in internally to act collectively as the Research and Innovation team. Some of the areas that will be researched include personal mobility, which focuses on consumer trends, open sourced hardware in collaboration with Bug Labs for Hyperlink technology, an OpenXC research platform for cloud-based applications, and new ways to use sensors on vehicles.

– By: Alexandra Koken