Ford Motor Co.: Top Technology Predictions for the Automobile
State-of-the-art sensing, computing and communications systems are not only quickly changing consumer expectations in people's everyday lives, but are driving innovation in the automotive industry at an incredible pace in preparation for the future. Ford Motor Co. historically has brought leading-edge technologies into its cars and is aggressively pursuing even newer solutions that will end up in its automobiles. In addition, tech vendors are seeing a huge growth area in connected cars. Ford executives recently announced a new Ford Developer Program to enable third-party developers to build voice-activated apps for its SYNC AppLink platform. The company also announced that its OpenXC platform is now out of beta and ready for developers to use. "Ford was founded on the innovative spirit of Henry Ford, and the opportunity today to reinvent the driving experience excites us just as it probably would have him," said Paul Mascarenas, vice president and CTO of Ford. "Technology is enabling Ford to bring a new level of awareness and intelligence that will dramatically enhance our customers' time behind the wheel." As CTO, Mascarenas has been leading the team researching and developing new technologies for Ford vehicles, particularly in driver assistance and mobile device connectivity. This eWEEK slide show is a list of Mascarenas' predictions on top areas for car technology innovation in the coming years.
Big data analysis and intelligent decision making are coming to the car. Ford is researching the use of real-time sensor data—radar and camera-based—that can help evaluate external factors affecting driver attention, including traffic congestion, and thus limit potential distractions, such as an incoming phone call.