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Establishment of the Ford Research and Innovation Centre: What For?

Establishment of the Ford Research and Innovation Centre: What For?

Just a few months ago, Ford opened the Ford Research and Innovation Centre in Palo Alta, CA, with an intention to develop and then offer people alternative means of transportation and useful gadgets supplementing them. Yes, about a century ago, this very company revolutionized people’s life introducing hundreds of thousands of vehicles. However, time moves on and priorities have been shifted.

What does the Centre work on at the moment?

Infocycle data gathering. They drew a map for cyclists that shows the best routes to follow (with fewest potholes, more shade, well-lit, etc.). Twelve sensors that were attached to bicycles in Palo Alto and Dearborn gathered the necessary information. 1,000 bicycles are planned to be equipped with such sensors by the end of the year.

Parking. The Centre offers several ways of tackling the parking issue. The ‘Parking spotter’ involves sensors at the front of the vehicle to find an appropriate spot and then feeds the data to a cloud. The ‘Painless parking’ is the app that tells you whether the spot you’ve chosen is legal. The third variant requires a cellular network available for an auto to be able to park itself via a remote control.

Electric-assist bikes. Three of them are unveiled: the MoDe:Me, MoDe:Flex, and the MoDe:Pro. Via a smartphone, they run an app that provides information on parking, driving, cycling, and public transport in a particular area. Besides, they can be put into a Ford car.

Wearables. This summer, an updated version of the MyFord mobile app will be released. It’ll interact with an Apple or Android smartwatch providing the data on charging stations nearby, charge status, tire pressure, etc. on its display.

Apart from these projects, the Ford Centre develops car sharing and renting, shuttle, driving score data, and some others projects according to the Detroit Free Press.

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