Car talk – Ford yesterday, Uber today

I was fascinated by the plenary Paul Ballew (Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Ford Motor) gave yesterday. He said there are more lines of code in a car (100M) than in the plane that some of us flew here in (a Boeing 787 has “only” 14M). That is far more complexity than I even imagined! I knew Henry Ford and others after him had been innovators in terms of applying early versions of what we could call analytics to make their manufacturing more efficient. Ballew talked about a whole team of the whiz kids Ford had in the 40s doing this kind of work. It’s a whole new breed of whiz kids we need today, with all this data. But it’s not just the data. As he said, data visualization is important, but you have to have something to visualize!  So many factors are disrupting the automotive industry that they need these whiz kids and the insights they can provide to keep Ford innovating today.

I’m looking forward to hearing from one of those disruptors today, Sam Eldersveld of Uber, when he gives the morning plenary!

Although I have to say that I love my Ford Fusion Hybrid, and it seems pretty innovative to me!