Big news day for my friends at Ford Motor Company.
They’re doubling the size of Ford Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto, to 260 people, and they’re partnering with Baidu to invest a big stake in Velodyne, the world’s premier lidar manufacturer.
When I was at RICPA there were these two giant, beautiful, empty buildings across the street that were known simply as “the Goldman Sachs buildings”. Apparently Goldman Sachs built those buildings during the original dot-com bubble and but never occupied them. For 14 years!
Sounds like RICPA might be expanding to occupy those buildings, too.
Three of Ford’s top executives RICPA to highlight the growth: Mark Fields, CEO, Raj Nair, Executive Vice President of Product Development, and Ken Washington, Vice President of Research.
“From the very beginning of our autonomous-vehicle program, we saw lidar as a key enabler due to its sensing capabilities and how it complements radar and cameras,” Raj Nair, Ford’s executive vice president of product development, said in the statement. “Ford has a longstanding relationship with Velodyne, and our investment is a clear sign of our commitment to making autonomous vehicles available for consumers around the world.”