Thanks to Tom Simpson from our autotech team for preparing this piece.
Ford has made 400 new engineering hires, the majority from Blackberry, as it doubles its existing team of engineers focused on mobility and connectivity. This means that Ford now has a larger in-house group in this area than do many smartphone makers.
In-car connectivity is already an integral part of the modern day car market. With the advent of autonomous vehicles, it will become even more important - not least due to the free time available for in-car activity. Developing cutting-edge software and connectivity services will help Ford keep ahead in the race and other car makers are likely to follow suit.
“In order to have autonomy, the vehicle’s got to be connected, it’s just fundamental,” [Chuck] Gray [Ford's Global Director for Electrical and Electronic Systems Engineering] explained. “The vehicle itself, whether there’s a driver or not, has to be communicating with the cloud for various reasons, so this group immediately is working on creating that connectivity spine or network upon which everything else can be built.”