A leading executive tasked with planning Ford Motor Company’s technological future is predicting that the disruption to the auto industry from software, autonomy and electrification is going to be as big as anything that affected the industry in the last century.
Chief Officer, Advanced Technology and Embedded Systems Doug Field (pictured), who previously worked for Apple and Tesla told the Wall Street Journal’s “Future of Everything” feature that carmakers’ the real differentiator will be offering an immersive experience – transforming the vehicle into a home-entertainment studio, gaming platform or conference room.
It adds that he says car features will be like choosing a meal in a restaurant. “Content absolutely will be a la carte,” he explained. “You’ll see certain types of connectivity and features that might involve a situation where, for example, a car is shared by five people. You could have a circle of friends who decide they’re going to buy a car together. There’s a little scheduling app that basically keeps track of who’s going to use the vehicle when, making sure that it’s charged in between. So it’s not just the software inside the vehicle, but it’s also the services that free people from the burden of car ownership while maintaining their connection with the product.”
He said people will choose their own differentiators in their vehicle, so there will be fewer models. “You don’t show off your phone anymore,” he commented. “Your identity doesn’t feel threatened when somebody else has an iPhone 13… It’s a very different way that people create their identity. Whereas in the past, a car was a big part of that. I think that will largely fade away.”
(Picture – Ford)