Ford’s New Direction is West


Although Ford Motor Company was born and raised in Detroit, it decided that it was time to check out the west coast. To be exact, Ford has announced it will create and open a new research lab in the San Francisco, California, area that will be dedicated to, as Ford puts it, “scout new technology and find new partners to innovate personal mobility solutions for the future.”
The truth is, for any company looking to be on the cutting edge of technology, it has to have a presence in Silicon Valley, home base for every major tech player in the country.
The lab, which will open in the next few months, will explore everything from sustainability to energy storage to autonomous vehicles. It will serve as a hub, or what Ford calls an “innovation network,” that will link Ford’s research lab to its design studio in Southern California and Microsoft, Ford’s connectivity partner, in Washington state.

While a bold move for Ford, Toyota, which has its U.S. headquarters in Torrance, California, has had its Toyota Info Technology Center located in Mountain View, California since 2001.
This lab marks the fourth technology studio for Ford; it already has locations in Dearborn, Michigan; Aachen, Germany; and Nanjing, China.

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BJ Killeen has been an automotive journalist for over 30 years, starting her career as the road test editor for Motor Trend magazine. She currently freelances for numerous websites and is the co-host of The Drive with Alan Taylor and Drivers Talk Radio shows. More about BJ