“Ford is not just an automotive company – we’re also a technology company, ” an Alan Mulally, Ford CEO, quote from the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, and the core of Jim Buczkowski’s presentation at the November 10th meeting. (NOTE – second Thursday so as not to conflict with media days at the Los Angeles International Automobile Show.)
And as a technology company, Ford is using software – not bulky hardware – as a means to deliver its latest upgrade of MyFord Touch, a software upgrade that will be free of charge to current MyFord Touch customers and be part of 2013 model year vehicles. With in-car health and wellness services and even the first cloud connected car, Ford is clearly betting big on technology.
For decades, Ford’s Jim Buczkowski has helped place that bet. A 30-year veteran of Ford, Jim is only the 13th man in the long history of Ford to earn the Henry Ford Fellow ranking and has been the shepherd of many of the current – and future – in car innovations consumers are taking advantage of.
The program begins with a noon reception followed by lunch, Buczkowski’s presentation and a question-and-answer session, all at the 3 West Club, 3 W. 51st Street, New York. Tickets are $35 for members, $45 for others.
Henry Ford Technical Fellow, Director of Global Electrical and Electronics Systems Engineering, Ford Research & Innovation
Jim Buczkowski is a Henry Ford Technical Fellow and the Director of Global Electrical and Electronics Systems, Ford Research and Innovation. He is responsible for Ford’s electrical engineering teams and developing relevant global strategies that incorporate electronics technology within the vehicle, which continues to be a significant growth area in the automotive space.
In this position Buczkowski reports jointly to Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president, Ford Research and Innovation; and Raj Nair, vice president, Ford Engineering.
An automotive electronics industry expert with more than 30 years experience at Ford, Buczkowski is no stranger to tinkering with technology at work or at home. He has been a subscribed beta tester for TiVo, Slingbox and Microsoft Windows – Vista and Windows 7 – and takes great pride in his completely networked entertainment system within his home.
“I find these projects a great outlet to learn and understand the latest and greatest technology and how the technology may apply to my job at Ford,” said Buczkowski.
During his career, Buczkowski has championed Ford’s efforts to innovate more like a consumer electronics company rather than an automotive OEM. With his vast electronics engineering experience, he contributed to the super integration of body control functions that helped bring in-car connectivity technologies such as the award-winning Ford SYNC® and MyFord Touch™ systems to life.
He has also played a pivotal role in forging nontraditional partnerships with technology companies such as Microsoft and Sony. Such collaboration helped Ford obtain a leadership position in incorporating infotainment and device connectivity within the vehicle as well as creating an overall driving experience unmatched by competitors.
“Our focus is on taking electronics and computer technology and applying them to cars and trucks and making the vehicle an extension of your home – connected, comfortable, convenient, productive and safe,” Buczkowski said. “It’s all about creating a truly rich driving environment with no compromise in connectivity – where everything you expect will be at your fingertips or voice command, integrated into your drive with minimal distraction.”
Buczkowski continues to lead Ford’s efforts to maintain robust software delivery processes, which give the company the ability to quickly respond to an evolving consumer electronics portfolio, changing consumer needs and diverse global demands.