Ford this week opened its new Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto, growing its global research team and accelerating the company’s innovation in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data.
The all-new Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto joins Ford’s global network of research and innovation centers, including its location in Dearborn, Mich., which focuses on advanced electronics, human-machine interface, materials science, big data and analytics; and Aachen, Germany, which focuses on next-generation powertrain research, driver-assist technologies and active safety systems.
With the new facility, Ford expects to have one of the largest automotive manufacturer research centers in Silicon Valley by the end of the year, with 125 researchers, engineers and scientists. Located in Stanford Research Park, the facility also expands Ford’s physical footprint – with further expansion planned in the near future. Ford opened its first Silicon Valley office in 2012.
Leading the new research center is Dragos Maciuca, an engineer who joins Ford from Apple with a background in consumer electronics, semiconductor manufacturing, aerospace and automotive. As senior technical leader for innovation, Maciuca brings extensive Silicon Valley experience advising startups, developing and commercializing products, collaborating with universities and leading cross-functional teams
Earlier this month, the company introduced Ford Smart Mobility at the 2015 International CES. It outlines Ford’s plans to accelerate innovation in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data. The Palo Alto team will play a critical role in research and development in these areas.