According to its Chief Executive Mark Fields, “Ford is set to ‘transform the customer experience.’”
The American car manufacturer is ploughing $200 million into a new facility based at Flat Rock, approximately 20 miles south of its world headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. This new site will be run by the company’s Smart Mobility section.
Fields says that this will “enable new mobility products and services, and help Ford operate more efficiently.”
Ford currently has a connected car data capacity of 13PB (one petabyte equates to one million gigabytes). The new facility would likely increase that volume to as much as 200PB by 2021.
The news, which broke at the end of March, follows reports late in 2016 that Ford was testing its range of connected cars in the UK; specifically in Coventry and Milton Keynes.
Much of Ford’s research and development is concentrating on data supplied by traffic lights via roadside beacons. By using this information, it’s theoretically possible to establish the best cruising speed with which to seamlessly navigate a series of green lights.
The term “riding the green wave” has been used to best sum up this premise, which makes sense considering that many traffic light systems are synced with each other. However, it could be more problematic in cities such as London where the local transport authority can remotely operate its traffic lights.
The Flat Rock site is also the location of one of Ford’s assembly plants, where 700 new jobs have been created to produce electric and autonomous vehicles.
Please keep an eye on our news section for updates on this story, and other Ford and Gates Ford-related announcements as they occur.