Ford Motors has been doing everything they can think of to facilitate innovation and a creative spirit in the automotive community. The company has changed their outlook on design and engineering.
Their latest effort to spur creative ideas comes in the form of a new laboratory in Silicon Valley, where collecting data on how people are using their vehicles and what can be done to better accommodate that use, is at the forefront of design.
Ford is on a mission to shed the innovation in a bubble mentality of Detroit, and assume the collectivist spirit that embodies invention more closely tied to Silicon Valley. In other word, they want to go open-source with their creative efforts.
Ford’s CTO Paul Mascarenas comments on the idea:
“We really want the car to get to know you and what you’re doing at any given time and be able to adapt with a connected experience,”
More specifically, Ford is looking for app developers to help them create an environment inside of vehicles that is anticipating and delivering at every turn. So if you are an app developer and you are interested in collaborating with Ford on this type of project, visit http://fordsvl.com/.
Learn a little more about Ford's collaborative form of innovation with this video:
At the end of May, Ford got the ball rolling an a new Tech Shop in the Detroit area where tech savvy entrepreneurs can take advantage of cutting-edge design and testing equipment to develop and refine technology aimed at automobile innovation.
As part of the open-source spirit they also made some refinements to an existing Patent Incentive Program, which allows collaborators to get paid for their intellectual investments. They have also set aside physical spaces in an area of the city they call Fordland where they help small entrepreneurs get manufacturing efforts off the ground while providing affordable rent and professional consultation.
So, if you want to deliver a vehicle which is adaptive and more attuned to a driver's experience, you have to embody that mentality with your design efforts, and it sounds like Ford is going above and beyond to do just that. It gives new meaning to the phrase, "there's an app for that".
(Lead Image: Ford's B-MAX 2013 Concept Vehicle)