During the Ford Trends conference, Jim Buczkowski, Henry Ford Technical Fellow and director of Electrical and Electronics Systems, discussed the future of connected automobiles and storing data in the cloud. As part of the Evos concept, the vehicle will learn driving habits, routes, and even music preferences.
In the current age of governments and companies collecting and storing large amount of data on its customers or constituents, people are genuinely concerned about what happens to their data. When asked whether or not this data would be stored locally in the vehicle or in the cloud, Buczkowski informed us that he and his team have not decided yet. There are benefits to both systems, according to Buczkowski. Storing the personal data on a mobile device would allow for the driver to transfer his or her settings in any vehicle that he or she may be driving.
Obviously, they care about customer data and protection, but admit that if the government wants access to data, it will most likely be able to obtain it. Unfortunately, that is the nature of our current connected world.
On the plus side, Ford recognizes that they have reached a limit to how much it can do in the vehicle without acquiring more information about the driver. Buczkowski compared the data collection that Ford intends to perform to the way Google collects data. They intend on using the data to make the in-car experience better for the driver. Obviously, a certain amount of trust will need to be placed with Ford to provide that information, but with the number of people who are willing to provide personal information to Google to take advantage of their services, it is likely Ford will have similar success.
During Bill Ford’s keynote to kick off the event he said that most of this technology will be easy to opt-in and opt-out of. That should make everyone happy.