Car manufacturer Ford has officially opened its Research and Innovation Center in Silicon Valley, crossing the automobile and technology sectors. CCTV America’s Mark Niu reported this story from the lab in Palo Alto, California.
Over a 4G network, researchers at the center worked on driving a golf cart in a parking lot 2,000 miles away in the U.S. state of Georgia. In another room, Ford was collaborating with Carnegie Mellon-West University professors to produce a faster and more accurate speech recognition system.
Ford Motor Company enters tech world with new Silicon Valley centerCar manufacturer Ford has officially opened its Research and Innovation Center in Silicon Valley, crossing the automobile and technology sectors. CCTV America's Mark Niu reported this story from the lab in Palo Alto, California.
“With Ford growing their research group here, it’s a great collaboration perhaps, where we get real world data and real world problems, and as technologists we get to solve hard problems to actually have an impact,” Ian Lane, a professor at Carnegie Mellon-West University said.
At the center, Ford also has a static driving simulator that allows someone to test voice commands, and use a touch screen to adjust temperatures and the seat.The user can do all this in a virtual environment to find out whether he get gets distracted.
In virtual environments, researchers also perfect street-sign-recognizing algorithms that will end up in self-driving vehicles.
“I’m excited about bringing all this cool technology into a car company that invented mobility, I think car companies are very cool,” Dragos Maciuca, a senior technical leader at Ford said.
Ford plans to have 125 researchers and scientists at the center, mostly local hires, by the end of the year.
“What you really have to figure out is how do you capture the kind of spirit that exists in Silicon Valley and try to actually take that and put it into your own organization and at the same time allow the other companies that don’t come from the automotive industry to understand what it means to be an automotive manufacturer,” Thilo Koslowski, auto practice leader at technology research company Gartner, Inc. said.
“The car is actually becoming something much more compelling than it has in the past. I almost view this as the 2nd birth, the renaissance of the automobile.”
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