Ford has opened a new Silicon Valley Research Center in Palo Alto, California with the goal of accelerating the development of its technologies and experiments related to connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and data collection. The center joins Ford’s existing global network of research and innovation centers, including its locations in Dearborn, Michigan and Aachen, Germany.
“At Ford, we view ourselves as both a mobility and an auto company, as we drive innovation in every part of our business,” Ford president and CEO Mark Fields said in a statement. “This new research center shows Ford’s commitment to be part of the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem – anticipating customers’ wants and needs, especially on connectivity, mobility and autonomous vehicles. We are working to make these new technologies accessible to everyone, not just luxury customers.”
The facility is expected to be the largest of its kind among automotive manufacturers in Silicon Valley, employing over 125 researches, engineers and scientists. Leading them will be Dragos Maciuca, an engineer who joined Ford from Apple and brings with him a background in “consumer electronics, semiconductor manufacturing, aerospace and automotive,” Ford says. He also has “extensive Silicon Valley experience advising startups, developing and commercializing products, collaborating with universities and leading cross-functional teams.”