Bill Ford today said that Detroit, Michigan should emerge as “ground zero” for new innovations relating to mobility.
Mr. Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of the automaker which shares his name, delivered a keynote address at the Detroit Startup Week, which kicked-off earlier today. The five-day conference is meant to celebrate and promote the spirit of entrepreneurship in and around Southeastern Michigan.
This is the first year that the event has been hosted on the home turf of America’s Big Three automakers, and the conference comes at a time when the automotive landscape looks poised to change dramatically. Ford is pursuing its vision of a “Smart Mobility” future, engaging in dozens of experiments worldwide that include operating pay-per-mile car rental fleets, a shuttle service, and of course, developing self-driving technology.
The automaker announced in March the creation of a new “Ford Smart Mobility” subsidiary to help oversee these projects.
“The way people move is going to change in a very short period of time,” said Bill Ford to a crowd of eager entrepreneurs. “We have more engineers here than any other state. [Detroit] should be mobility central. Not Silicon Valley.”
Ford went on to say: “You guys want to be trailblazers and you guys want to be brave. You could go to Silicon Valley… and have a great life. But if you are successful here… people are really going to notice and they are going to love you for it and you are going to be part of something special.”
(Source: Detroit Free Press)