K. Venkatesh Prasad is Ford’s “what’s next” guy, responsible for research, architecture, standards, applications development, and vehicle system integration of electronics and embedded software. Prasad imagines the vehicle as a software platform where features and services can be beamed in from the outside. This revolutionary mindset led to the development of the software-based, voice-activated Ford SYNC, which allows vehicle owners to seamlessly connect with digital media players and cellphones. Before moving to the U.S. from India, Prasad earned engineering degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras and the National Institute of Technology-Trichy. He also has a Ph.D. from Rutgers University and a master’s degree from Washington State University. Prior to joining Ford in 1996, Prasad was a senior scientist at Ricoh Innovations and helped design the International Space Station while working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.