Ford VP Ken Washington issues ‘call to arms’ for auto industry talent

Smart, connected, electrified and autonomous vehicles have the transformational potential to change the world by solving key problems like congestion in urban cores and decreasing fatalities. Automakers in Michigan and around the world can’t achieve that dream, however, without tomorrow’s talent.

 

“We need bright minds to address serious challenges to our society,” said Ken Washington, vice president of research and advanced engineering and chief technology officer for Ford Motor Company, to kick off the 2018 MICHauto Summit.

 

“The future is about connecting people in new ways. Autonomous vehicles, ride-sharing, and harnessing the power of cell phones all present opportunities and challenges. This is a call to arms to people who want to engage in our industry,” Washington added.

 

Addressing more than 180 students, Washington shared Ford’s vision of “smart vehicles for a smart world.”

 

“Our industry – and the world around us – continues to evolve faster than ever. Our entire team remains fully committed to keeping sustainability at the heart of our strategy. To achieve our sustainability goals, we will continue to drive innovation in every part of our business,” Washington said.

 

As part of that sustainability effort, Ford has set a goal of 40 electric vehicles and 16 fully electric vehicles by 2022.

 

Washington said Detroit is where new mobility solutions, fueled by vehicles, will come to life.

 

“The future of transportation is about not just cars, but also systems of infrastructure, urban planning, engaging cities and our government leaders,” he said.

 

Key Takeaways:

 

  • Software engineers, mechatronics and electrification are three key areas where Ford is looking to hire immediate talent.
  • Ford is developing an open platform upon which cities can build out infrastructure communications, including connected traffic lights and parking spots, called the “Transportation Mobility Cloud.” The platform is designed to help connect smart transportation services, uniting them with one common language.
  • Ford is investing in Detroit and Corktown to attract the best and brightest minds to Michigan. “Michigan is the epicenter of automobility. It is our right to create the future of mobility here,” Washington said.
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