Ford and Univ. of Michigan Partnering On Cloud Project

Posted Oct 30, 2009

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and The University of Michigan are now working together on a project that involves bringing cloud systems to cars. The service would be an add-on to Microsoft and Ford’s partnership on the Sync system. Sync is an in-car communications and entertainment system. Sync allows you to command your car to perform certain tasks using your voice.

The project between The U of M and Ford has the code-name American Journey 2.0. This will give U of M students the opportunity to work with a development operating system that could possibly benefit future Ford customers. ?Already with Sync we have proven that we can access information in the cloud,? stated Ford head of infotronics Venkatesh Prasad. The infotronics division at Ford is part of the Research & Advanced Engineering department. ?This research gives us the opportunity to harness the power of student innovation to explore beyond those capabilities and develop what?s next. We want the students to get creative and develop ways to responsibly connect the car to communicate and share with the outside world.?

?What excites me about this project is that it gives our students the opportunity to unleash their creativity using cutting-edge technologies that connect the vehicle and the cloud,? added U of M associate professor Dr. Jason Flinn.

American Journey 2.0 will be divided into two phases. The first phase involves testing and attempting to break the system by running several applications. During the second phase, an in-vehicle connectivity platform will be built.

After the platform is done, a competition will be held. The judges of the competition include representatives from Microsoft, Ford, the U of M, Maker Faire, and several others. The winning application developers will install their software in a Ford Fiesta at the Maker Faire DIY convention.