Ford exec: Auto industry should embrace wearables

Ford exec: Auto industry should embrace wearables

09 JAN 2014

LIVE FROM CES 2014: An executive from Ford said that auto manufacturers should learn from past mistakes in relationships with the consumer electronics space, and look at how to work with wearable devices rather than developing separate technology that does the same job.

With the connected car and wearables being the two hottest topics here this week, James Farley (pictured), EVP of Global Marketing, Sales and Service for the vehicle maker, noted there are many areas of feature overlap between the two markets, for example with heads-up displays potentially offering access to such similar information as connected glasses.

“Frankly the most important thing for us in our industry is not to make the same mistakes again, and go into competition with wearables, if in the end the customer is going to wear them in the car and use them. Because it’s going to lower costs, it fits in with the rest of their lives, with the customer at the centre. Why would you ask them to invest in another whole new, similar technology in the car?” he pondered.

“The reason why that’s important is because our industry is littered with bad decisions around not ‘futuring’ consumer products,” Farley continued.

“We were in the phone business, remember those huge phones from the 80s? It didn’t work out. We didn’t future the mobile expansion, so the car experience – because our platforms take six or seven years – is just not anywhere near where it needs to be in terms of running mobile applications in the car,” he continued.

“We spend an incredible amount of money in a car with display technology. Why would we waste that money if customers are already going to invest it in another part of their life?”

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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