Ford Is Branching Out from Michigan to Silicon Valley for Tech Projects

CEO of Ford Mark Fields talks to Poppy Harlow about why the company is branching out from its southern Michigan roots and heading to Silicon Valley. Is Palo Alto the new Detroit?

Ford’s presence in Silicon Valley is important for two reasons:

Ford’s team will be working on projects like self-driving cars and improved voice recognition technology near their potential partners such as Apple, Google, and Nvidia.

Ford will now be closer to the hot spot of tech talent. A software engineer will be more attracted to moving to the Palo Alto are than the Detroit area.

High tech projects such a remote-controlled cars that use 4G networks — one of the 25 “mobility experiments” Ford will pursue at the center — are more feasible near the other tech company homes. Ford also is developing a system that will let you control a Nest thermostat from the vehicle’s dashboard to better manage home energy use. Ford is also working to improve voice recognition.

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