Ford Authority

Ford Exec Says Software Designed Vehicles Is A Major Change

Over the past few years, Ford has harnessed a variety of technologies in an effort to revamp its vehicle development process, ranging from the same sort of features used to make video games to next-gen software. The automaker’s focus on interior design and digital experiences, specifically, is a stark change compared to the way the company has done things for over a century to this point, but its efforts in that regard have already earned The Blue Oval plenty of critical acclaim. Regardless, Ford of Europe designer Filip Krnja recently admitted that the automaker’s switch to software designed vehicles is a seismic shift ripe with challenges, according to Automotive News Europe.

This transition to a software-led design process is akin to “a rewiring of the brain,” according to Krnja, or even something like a symphony orchestra being replaced by a jazz band. “Perhaps we will define some of the instruments and players and they start jamming together. It becomes a tune but it’s painful yet enjoyable,” he noted. At the same time, the rapid speed in which this transition is occurring forces the company to think about “what to do across our brands, our portfolio, our business and how to start thinking much further ahead.”

That doesn’t mean there aren’t additional challenges associated with this realignment, of course. “I can see there is already tension when it comes to the hardware side, when maybe the digital teams are pulled in too late and presented with choices that they probably wouldn’t have made to deliver the work,” Krnja noted. Regardless, he sees “tons of opportunities to amplify and enhance the driving experience,” which could become “an evolving, updatable thing that continuously engages you.”

With so much speed involved in this transition – which is happening rather quickly across the industry – there are obviously some risks involved, along with a need for integration within companies like Ford. Regardless, Krnja points out that if the automaker executes this process correctly, it could also pay huge dividends down the road. “It’s about changing the character of the vehicle and that really hasn’t been explored yet,” he noted. “We are just scratching the surface right now with SDVs (software-defined vehicles).”

We’ll have more on this new design strategy soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. James

    Oh, cool, I guess that explains why they made the great decision that to do an oil change on some models, the driver’s side wheel needs to be removed.

    Good job, guys.


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