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Toyota has opened a new dedicated office in California’s Silicon Valley to further localize its research and development activities in North America. The new Toyota Technical Center will focus on enhancing the customer’s experience with in-vehicle infotainment systems.
The new Toyota Technical Center will co-locate with the Toyota Info Technology Center in their Mountain View, California office in order to leverage complimentary knowledge and skills, developing new product applications and technological advancement for its vehicles.
Ford wants to be a player in this field and has announced that early this year, it will open a new dedicated research lab in Silicon Valley. The premise behind this new facility is to create uncompromised personal mobility experiences.
Being in Silicon Valley, Ford believes it can make better ties with established and start-up tech firms, plus link-up with area universities like Stanford.
“Ford has an incredible heritage of driving innovation in the transportation and manufacturing sectors during the past 107 years,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president of Research and Innovation. “Now it’s time to prepare for the next 100 years, ushering in a new era of collaboration and finding new partners to help us transform what it means to be an automaker.”
This new lab, which will be opened in the San Francisco Bay area will serve as a hub for all of Ford’s new technologies. Ford has in recent years developed products like MyKey, SYNC, EcoBoost and Inflatable Rear Seat Belts. By being in such a tech savvy location, what will Ford come out with next?
“Silicon Valley represents a deep and dynamic technology neighborhood and is far from Dearborn,” said K. Venkatesh Prasad, senior technical leader for open innovation with Ford Research and Innovation. “With so many opportunities and so much potential, our new lab will allow us to scout new technologies and partners in their own environment and continue our expansion beyond the traditional automaker mindset to drive innovation for a better mobility experience.”
Their goal is to integrate mobility with technology in everyday life, and bring that experience to millions of customers around the world.
In an official press release, the Renault-Nissan Alliance stated that the office will “build staff organically, to focus on specific projects and business developments as they emerge.”
The office is part of the automaker’s $5.4 billion commitment to sustainable transportation and will play an integral role in vehicle Information Technology research, including graphic user interface displays, in-car connectivity features already employed on the Nissan LEAF EV (shown above) as well as Smart Grid R&D.
Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, during a speech at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), said that “the [Renault-Nissan] Alliance is at the vanguard of the auto industry’s shift to sustainable transportation. Having a greater footprint in one of the world’s headquarters for clean tech research will extend our lead further.”