Auto Is Connected
Consumer electronics are hot. Auto’s not. Right? I mean, everyone knows that there was Cash for Clunkers, but there wasn’t Cash for Walkmans or iRivers. Somehow, the consumer electronics companies have remained comparatively vibrant in this economy, leaving the technologists in places like Dearborn removing the build-up on their battery leads with a toothbrush and baking soda, right?
Well, consider this:
The biggest consumer technology tradeshow is hosted each year by the Consumer Electronics Association. This is where all of the big names in that space reveal their wares.
So, who is going to be delivering the opening keynote address at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show? Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company.
Who made a keynote address at the 2009 CES? Alan Mulally.
Who made a keynote address at the 2008 CES? Former GM chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner.
According to Steve Koenig, industry analyst with CEA, there have historically (of course, remember that the clock speed in that industry is considerably faster than in auto) been three “screens” that they track at CEA: TV screens, computer screens, and mobile device screens. Now there is a fourth of considerable interest: The screen that is increasingly found in the dashboards of automobiles.
During his presentation when he announced Mulally’s return to the CES stage, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, stated, “Ford is acting and thinking like an electronics company.” Which is high praise, indeed, from that world.
Alan Mulally and Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, celebrating the one-millionth Ford vehicle (a Fusion Hybrid, it so happens) equipped with the SYNC system in May 2009. Ford and Microsoft are fast partners on SYNC.
The mid-size 2005 Pathfinder, Nissan's largest design and development program to date, involved three technical centers, and took 36 months and countless trans-Pacific trips to complete. Though it borrows major components from the full-size Titan pickup and Armada SUV, it's not just a downsized clone.
Dan Nicholson is vice president of General Motors Global Propulsion Systems, the organization that had been “GM Powertrain” for 24 years.
According to Frank Jourdan, president, Chassis & Safety Div., Continental Contitech AG (continental-corporation.com), the high-resolution 3D flash LIDAR (HFL) technology that the company is developing for deployment in automated driving systems in the 2020+ timeframe provides an array of benefits.