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Ford Puts Emphasis on Analytics Research to Improve Future Technology

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Oct. 28, 2013—Ford Motor Co. announced Friday an increased focus in "big data and analytics" to position itself in what it considers to be a new digital "frontier" for the automotive industry.

Ford said it is using increased data to explore areas of potential such as green routing, which optimizes driving routes to reduce a vehicles impact on local air quality in specific locations suchs as near hospitals and schools. Ford is also experimenting with biofuels, the use of different materials in vehicles, new environmentally friendly components and researching the public opinion of electric vehicles.

“There are so many amazing possibilities to consider for the future impact of data," said John Viera, global director of sustainability and vehicle environmental matters. "The possibilities are not only exciting, they are, in fact, almost endless."

Ford launched its Research and Innovation Center 15 years ago as a small group of researchers that has grown into one of the company’s leading areas of research and development with the goal of “charting a path for the company to a cleaner, brighter, better world and stronger business.”

The group has directly improved fuel economy within Ford and has implemented new features and technologies such as Ford Auto Start-Stop and Ford Fleet Purchase Planner, an analytical system assisting customers in matching their needs to the appropriate Ford vehicle.

The center works with analytics (such as the 25 gigabytes generated every hour by Ford’s plug-in hybrid, the Ford Fusion Energi) to further innovate technologies and methodologies, with a special focus on green initiatives. Ford researchers are currently experimenting with vehicles that generates up to 250 gigabytes per hour.

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