Happy Birthday, Henry Ford! If Only He Could See the Connected Car

Happy Birthday, Henry Ford! If Only He Could See the Connected Car

Happy Birthday, Henry Ford! If Only He Could See the Connected Car

July 30 is the birth date of one of the great pioneers of the automotive industry, the founder of the Ford Automotive Company.  The Ford franchise and brand have perfected the development of the assembly line technique of mass production, placing a car or vehicle in almost every driveway across America, fulfilling a certain classic American dream, which has since spread to every corner of the globe. Some may even argue that Henry Ford is synonymous with ingenuity, innovation and talent.

Today, the connected car is top of mind for countless automotive experts and influencers, as well as technology gurus and business media seeking to look under the hood of the connected vehicle of tomorrow and dissect which technology providers will ultimately win the battle of the dashboard. The internet is no longer equated with email and web surfing. The Internet of Things (IoT) connects our consumer devices, home appliances, phones, and now the cars we drive.

Let’s put the brakes on for a moment and take a deeper look into how far technologies and developments – and semiconductors – have taken the automobile, and other fun facts!

–        1882: Invention of the diesel engine

–        1908: Henry Ford invents the Model-T and the Modern Assembly Line

–        1927: First Car Radios come into existence

–        1938: The World welcomes the VW Beetle

–        1970: First time a driver hits 1000km/h

–        1978: Mercedes-Benz presents the second-generation anti-lock braking system (ABS), developed together with Bosch, enabling drivers to retain steering control even during emergency braking.

–        1986: BMW introduces the first car with CAN bus

–        1992: The Ford Taurus becomes America’s top-selling car

–        2004: A Minnesota Trooper writes a speeding ticket for a driver speeding at 205 MPH

–        2007: Ford introduces SYNC – Integrated in-vehicle communication & entertainment

–        2008: The Toyota Prius, the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, surpasses the one-million mark

At NXP, we are doing our own small part to continue the legacy of Henry Ford. We are also involved in pushing the envelope of technology – with security and cutting-edge offerings that comprise the backbone of the next wave of connected cars:

–        2010: NXP and Continental demonstrate the world’s first NFC-enabled car at MWC Barcelona

–        2011: NXP and Cohda Wireless are first to demonstrate V2V on public roads in Europe

–        2012: NXP and Cisco jointly invest in Cohda to push V2V

–        2013: NXP extends V2V technology to motorcycles and launches extended RoadLink portfolio

Our commitment to innovation and our dedication to be best-in-class means we’re always working to develop smart and secure solutions that lead to new and exciting levels of performance – now in connected mobility.

At CES, we announced a single-chip solution that saves more than 75% board space and is capable of decoding all three major global digital terrestrial radio standards. We also made great progress in making V2V a reality in global traffic management:  NXP launched the second product of our RoadLink range and celebrated the industry’s first design win for V2V communication. The NXP sponsored solar and connected car Stella won the World Solar Car Challenge (a solar car race in Australia). NXP has had quite a busy year in the connected vehicle arena. In Henry Ford’s day, innovation was primarily in mechanical systems and manufacturing.  As innovation moves into the connected car, the rate of evolution in the automotive industry is accelerating.  90% of that innovation is due to semiconductors. That’s going to create a lot of work for our engineering and product folks.

As we light a candle to Mr. Ford and thank him for his contribution to the automotive industry, we invite you to comment and interact with us here or in the connected vehicle LinkedIn group and share your thoughts on the connected car – or in some cases, the driverless car. And of course, if you happen to be going to the ITS World Congress in Detroit this year, be sure to visit us and see our live demos of the connected vehicle.

Drue Freeman
Drue Freeman
Senior Vice President, global automotive sales & marketing, with over twenty years of experience in the semiconductor industry, including more than ten years in the automotive business at Philips and NXP. After seven years at the NXP Automotive headquarters in Germany, Drue relocated to Shanghai, China, in April 2011 in order to further strengthen relationships with the Asian customer base and to support the strong growth in Greater China, Korea, and Japan. In 2013, Drue relocated to San Jose, California, to manage the growth happening in the Americas while continuing his global automotive responsibilities. Drue Freeman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from San Diego State University, as well as an MBA from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, California.

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