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K. Venkatesh Prasad

Senior Leader, Open Innovation, Ford Adv. Research and Eng., Ford Motor Company

K. V. Prasad, known as Ford Motor Company’s “What’s Next Guy,” is Group and Senior Technical Leader, Vehicle Design and Infotronics, Ford Research and Innovation. He is responsible for the research, architecture, standards, applications development and vehicle system integration of electrical, electronics and embedded software technologies.  Previously, Prasad worked as a senior scientist at RICOH Innovations, developing automatic “lip reading” as a novel human-machine interface. He also worked at Caltech and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he contributed to the development of the world’s first telerobotic visual surface inspection system to help design the International Space Station. Prasad also lead the development of Ford SYNC, a software-based, voice-activated system that allows Ford and Lincoln vehicle owners to seamlessly connect to their cellphone, MP3 players, and other features and services in and through their vehicles—hands-free. Prasad received engineering degrees from IIT-Madras and NIT-Trichy, his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Rutgers University, and his Master’s degree from Washington State University, Pullman.