If you’re looking for a confirmation that cars are becoming as technologically advanced as home offices, look no further than this: Ford has announced it will open a dedicated research and development facility in Silicon Valley, California.
Obviously, the long march of automotive technology has been going on for some time: everything from headlights to heat to tire pressure is governed or checked by computers nowadays, but infotainment tech like Ford’s Sync and MyFord Touch systems, which integrates smartphone functionality and computing into the vehicle, mean that the driver’s seat is the next great place to find new technology.
Ford’s new dedicated research facility will be located on the outskirts of San Francissco’s Bay working on opening a dedicated research facility in San Francisco’s Bay Area. Ford says the Silicon Valley office will join forces with Ford’s similar facilities in Dearborn, Michigan; Aachen, Germany; and Nanjing, China. It’ll also provide a crucial west coast office to allow the company to make or keep relationships with crucial tech vendors. Keep in mind, of course, that Ford’s partner in Sync is Microsoft, located in Redmond, Washington.
The announcement comes on the eve of the International Consumer Electronics Show, where Ford will have a presence and deliver a keynote with CEO Alan Mulally.
The fruit of this new location lies in partnerships with new companies, potentially allowing Ford to incorporate new features and functionalities in forthcoming models. For instance, Ford says it’s already working with weather site Weather Underground to improve forecasts by — get this — connecting weather reports to windshield wipers, which would allow the site to reconsider rainy forecasts if multiple drivers in a particular area have their windshield wipers off.