| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Nov 19 Automakers and technology
companies need to cooperate more closely to ensure the rapid and
smooth development of cars that are fully connected to the
Internet, a top Ford Motor Co executive said on Tuesday.
Ford global marketing chief Jim Farley told reporters at the
Los Angeles Auto Show that the automotive and technology sectors
are "at a tipping point" where they need to work together better
than they have to speed the roll-out of the services in cars
that allow consumers to drive safely and interact with their
favorite apps or other technologies.
"The car companies have to change and the tech companies
have to change," he said to industry officials at the auto show.
"For the car companies, it's pretty clear that the mobile
digital economy is not in our hands."
Farley said automakers must acknowledge that the real value
for consumers comes from outside the auto industry and they must
create an open architecture that allows outside providers.
Meanwhile, tech companies need to stop imposing their user
interfaces on drivers in a way that makes driving unsafe.
For example, Google Inc's Tarun Bhatnagar, director
of Google Maps for Business, speaking after Farley, described
using the navigation app on his smartphone that sat in his lap
as he drove a rental car in Los Angeles.
"I can't help but wonder why is it that beautiful screen in
the instrument cluster of my rental car can't provide me with a
connected and safer driving experience? That needs to change,"
Farley said he had no new deals with technology firms to
announce, but he expected significant agreements over the next
few years as the two sides work more closely together.
He said the navigation system is a natural place to start.
"If the navigation system works so well on the phone, who's
going to pay for it in the car?" Farley said. "But it's unsafe
using them in a car and that's the reality."
Farley said automakers will have to innovate around how data
is used in the car and that Ford is betting first on "brought
in," which refers to people bringing their mobile devices into
The other options are building the services into the car or
beaming them in.
Calling the car "the ultimate mobile device," Farley said
certain apps like navigation are endemic to the car experience
and automakers will need to incorporate them really well.
Ford's Sync technology has already had a major impact on
consumers' purchasing decisions and the company has sold 10
million Sync-equipped vehicles, he said. Ninety-four percent of
Ford's 2014 model-year vehicles will be sold with the Sync