Forget the Rust Belt, Ford Motor Co. is now officially a part of the high-tech world of the Silicon Valley.
Recognizing the rapidly increasing role of digital technology in the automobile, the automaker has opened up a new electronics research lab within a silicon chip’s throw of such high-tech giants as Apple, Google and Intel.
“We have been innovating for more than a century at Ford, but we acknowledge we don’t have a monopoly on creativity,” observed Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford during the formal dedication of the new lab in Mountain View, California. “Our new office will complement our existing research efforts by allowing us to tap into the region that has been driving consumer technology forward in recent decades.”
Long associated with U.S. the industrial heartland, Ford has been expanding its global reach with a network of so-called “Research and Innovation” facilitiesin Aachen, Germany; Nanjing, China; and its home in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. It also has hired on technology scouts in Tel Aviv, Israel.
“We want Silicon Valley to view Ford as a platform that is open, accessible and ready for their innovative ideas and technologies,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “We are looking for unexpected solutions for the future, and we believe Silicon Valley is the right place to round out our global research organization.