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Internet of Things Mobile Partner Insights

Why Ford’s Work with Amazon will Echo Widely

Amazon's Echo ambient voice interface device is a breakthrough with growing implications for the future of computing. And the relationship developing between Amazon and Ford to add vehicle-related functions to Echo's cloud service is one more piece of evidence to show how vast Echo's potential could be. Soon you will be able simply to speak in your living room to turn on your car, set its heater for 72, or perform all sorts of other tasks relating to your vehicle.   More

Internet of Things

Preparing Ourselves for a Fully-Automated Future

As technology forges ahead, more of our world is becoming automated, increasingly resembling the futuristic settings that were once only the domain of science fiction. This means a significant change in the way tomorrow’s innovators will design new products: it won’t just be a matter of human users interacting with objects, but also of objects interacting with their users. Moreover, many people have anxieties about robots and other “smart” objects—usually that they’ll gain sentience, turn evil, and try to exterminate the human race.   More

Internet of Things Techonomy Events

Ford’s Ken Washington on the Evolution of Mobility

Young people aren’t the only ones who are starting to think in new ways about car ownership and how they get around. According to Ken Washington, VP of research and advanced engineering at Ford, “the population boom that is happening in mega-cities is leading us to think about mobility differently.” Moving from point A to point B depends increasingly on context, Washington explained during a Techonomy 2014 discussion entitled “Man, Machine, and How the Future Works.”   More

Techonomy Events

Ford’s Ken Washington: Autonomous Vehicles Aren’t About to Drive Off Without Us

Do intelligent machines threaten to not only to steal our jobs, but to rob us of the pleasure of driving? Ford VP of Research and Advanced Engineering Ken Washington says that while “technologies are maturing at an unprecedented pace,” robots won’t be coming for our jobs, or for our steering wheels, any time soon. With the emergence of the Internet of Things and sensor technology, “autonomous capabilities are no longer just things of science fiction,” says Washington. However, he adds, “this notion that one day your’e going to wake up and go the dealer and buy an autonomous car is flawed.”   More

Techonomy Events

Ford’s Don Butler on Connectivity in Cars

How can connectivity make for a better driving experience? At our Techonomy Detroit conference at Wayne State University, Ford’s Don Butler talked about the ways the 111-year-old auto company is leveraging connectivity to make its vehicles more attractive to consumers. Increased connectivity—whether it’s beamed in via AM radio, brought in by syncing the vehicle with smart devices, or built into the vehicle itself through smart-computing platforms—is allowing drivers to be truly mobile, Butler said.   More

Cities Partner Insights

How Sharing, RoboCars, and 3D Printing Can Reinvent Industrial Detroit

"The age of the industrial city is over, at least in the West, and it will never return," declared Edward Glaeser in his book “Triumph of the City.” Detroit, whose decline he blamed on the "extravagant success of Ford's big idea" that "brought hundreds of thousands of less-well-educated workers to vast factories," was Glaeser's best evidence. The Harvard economics professor might be right about Detroit’s past. But a Motor City renaissance is determined to prove him wrong about its future. And Detroit’s industrial character will almost certainly be the key to its rebirth.   More

Media & Marketing Techonomy Events

Ford’s Data-Driven CMO on Mobile, Newsrooms, Tesla, and More

Jim Farley of Ford joined David Kirkpatrick onstage at Techonomy 2013 in Tucson. Farley leads Ford’s drive to connect more closely with customers, and serves not only as Ford's chief marketing officer, but also as chief of its Lincoln division. Farley says that data makes marketers better by enabling greater responsiveness to trends and better targeting. "But," the adds, "there's a whole piece of consumer data we haven't figured out yet.   More

Cities Energy & Green Tech

Ford’s Farley Wants P2P Sharing and Electric Cars for Urban Mobility

As the urban population soars, city streets are growing increasingly traffic-clogged and difficult to navigate, impeding our ease of transit and, more critically, harming our environment. At our Techonomy 2013 conference, we talked to Jim Farley, EVP of global marketing at Ford, about the car industry and using shared ownership to tackle urban mobility. While business-to-consumer models (think Zipcar) have thus far dominated the shared-ownership market, they have struggled to succeed financially. Farley believes a peer-to-peer system of sharing vehicles is more promising. Electrifying the car industry, he added, will be an important part of developing this peer-to-peer system, enabling us to be more economical, more efficient, and kinder to our Earth.   More

Partner Insights

Your Car Will Take Your Blood Pressure

Customer research and societal trends suggest that there’s a strong business case for automakers to explore opportunities in health and wellness. Here’s what we at Ford have learned: While chronic illnesses are on the rise, the number of healthcare providers has remained relatively flat, which effectively limits patient access. For this reason and others, people of all ages and from all income groups are taking a more hands-on approach to their own health and wellness. More people now visit online health sites than go to the doctor’s office. Paralleling the increasing interest in health websites is an explosion of interest in mobile health solutions. These trends create a natural role for the automobile in the emerging digital health and wellness field.   More

Manufacturing

How the Maker Movement Is Reinventing Retail

The jury is still out on whether the maker movement could bring about a new American industrial revolution. But anecdotal evidence suggests it is well on its way to reinventing retail. Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson and Shapeways co-founder Marleen Vogelaar joined Detroit Creative Corridor Center director Matt Clayson and Ford’s open innovation guru K. Venkatesh Prasad for a “maker movement” discussion moderated by McKinsey & Company principal Lou Rassey at the Techonomy Detroit conference.   More

Energy & Green Tech Manufacturing

Remaking Detroit Is More Than the Sum of Its Parts: A Car Guy’s View

As a consumer, it is easy to take for granted the innovation needed to create automobiles that are more appealing, leave a smaller environmental footprint, and are manufactured more efficiently. But for industry insiders immersed in the operations of delivering products, it is easy to miss the forest for the trees. By a quirk of fate, having moved from the Silicon Valley to work in Dearborn 17 years ago, I wear a lens of both an outsider and an insider that offers me a unique vantage point on the remaking of Detroit: I can see how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.   More

Cities

Tech and Innovation Must Play Central Role in Detroit Revival

Even as Detroit hits financial bottom, Techonomy retains its belief that applying tech and innovation can be a major aid toward a historic comeback. As Techonomy Detroit 2013 nears, the conference continues to grow its list of speakers and sponsors, and refine its program. Techonomy earlier announced the inclusion of Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson, Jean Case of the Case Foundation, Andrew Yang of Venture for America, and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. New speakers include Rodney Brooks of Rethink Robotics, Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution, Edward Luce of the Financial Times, Susan Lund of the McKinsey Global Institute, Hector Ruiz, Chairman and Founder of ANS, Nilmini Rubin, competitiveness expert for the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Ford's K. Venkatesh Prasad, and Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Tae Yoo.   More

Business

What the Sharing Economy Means for Business

With digital peer-to-peer platforms emerging in dozens of vertical markets, the sharing economy appears to be in its own Cambrian explosion of diversity. Participants share cars, bicycles, houses, clothing, tools, and a growing array of other consumer goods. “Collaborative consumption” is gaining traction among customers and finally attracting the attention of regulators and entrenched incumbents—not just taxi cabs and hotels, but increasingly automakers and manufacturers of other consumer goods that have built businesses on seemingly endless demand for ownership.   More

Internet of Things

Why the Internet of Everything Includes the Internet of You

When the tech industry talks about the Internet of Everything (IoE), it sounds so huge it’s almost intimidating. Executives toss around numbers like 50 billion connected devices by 2015 and hundred-billion-dollar opportunities. But at the recent Techonomy Labs IoE forum, an idea emerged that’s a little more embraceable on an intimate level. Listening to some of the presenters, it seemed clear that we’ll all soon have our private little versions of the IoE. No one, as far as I can tell, has named this yet, so I’ll call it the Internet of You ... or IoU.   More

Internet of Things

How Big Companies Are Feeling Their Way into the Internet of Everything

The big players in technology seem to agree that the Internet of Everything (IoE) is a huge transition that will have an impact on many aspects of life, though they still see the shift from their own points of view—not yet with a single coherent vision. That’s the takeaway from the opening panel at Thursday's Techonomy Lab conference on IoE. On stage were Rob Chandhok of Qualcomm, Dave Evans of Cisco, Paul Rogers of General Electric, and Vijay Sankaran of Ford.   More

Cities Manufacturing

Chinese Companies Set Up Shop in the Motor City

A new wave of investment is happening in long-suffering Detroit. At first blush, that sounds eminently promising—the region, and the U.S. auto industry, is still rebounding from the recession, with mixed results. But the who and why paint a more complex picture. As part of their steady push into the U.S. auto industry, “Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers,” Bill Vlasic writes in The New York Times.   More

Energy & Green Tech Internet of Things

Why the Internet of Everything Could Mean Fewer Cars

Dire predictions about the mushrooming number of cars jamming the world’s roads and clogging the world's air may never come true. Instead, a dawning era of super-optimized car sharing is poised to shrink demand for cars. Even General Motors and Ford Chairman Bill Ford have invested in technology that can help make it happen.   More

Internet of Things

Why an Internet of Everything Event? “It’s the World Waking Up”

What inefficiencies frustrate you in your day-to-day life? What could work better about your home and the things that surround you—your car, your commute, your job, your health care, your aging parent's physical situation, or your local government? Entrepreneurs and innovators are beginning determinedly to address those problems. How can I be so confident? Because of the macro trend that some, including we at Techonomy, call the "Internet of Everything" (IoE for shorthand). We see it as a big deal worth devoting a half day to, along with a superb group of speakers, at our Techonomy Lab: Man, Machines, and the Network on May 16.   More

Business Cities

From the Model T to P2P: How Automotive Innovation is Changing Detroit (Again)

San Francisco's Uber has turned the limo and cab industry upside down by offering a car service that books rides on demand from smartphones. Users can request vehicles and complete transactions entirely through a mobile app. This method creates efficiencies that don't exist in traditional limo/cab offerings: upon request for a vehicle, the app sends the picture, name, and direct contact number of your driver to your smartphone. GPS enables real-time tracking as the driver approaches your pickup location, and upon reaching your destination, payment is automatically processed (gratuity included) through the app. In short, Uber has radically streamlined the customer experience for both driver and passenger.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Ford to Crowdsource Fuel-Efficiency App

As part of a campaign to help drivers learn more about how to optimize their fuel usage, Ford announced its Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge at last week's New York International Auto Show. The app will address what Ford officials say is the number one concern among drivers. By creating a platform designed to share information through social media, Ford believes it can empower drivers to improve their personal fuel efficiency.   More