Shawn Brovold: An Outdoorsman with Big Ambition Works to Ensure Future Vehicles Communicate
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- Who: Shawn Brovold, product development engineer, Ford Active Safety Research and Innovation
- Role: Part of Ford team working to develop proprietary methods for vehicle-to-vehicle communication and the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership that is trying to develop a universal vehicle-to-vehicle language
- Did you know? At least once a year Brovold leaves Michigan to travel and take part in his favorite outdoor activities like hiking
It took one day in Michigan for Shawn Brovold to realize the significance of his job at Ford.
That’s because the Ford product development engineer who is helping lead research for intelligent vehicles was in a major car crash his first day in the state. He was okay. But the experience sticks with him to this day.
“That crash taught me how important the work we do with intelligent vehicles really is,” said Brovold. “I think about it often.”
Brovold, 31, joined Ford Motor Company in 2006. He works as part of the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP) consortium, co-led by Ford, which organizes major automakers for intelligent vehicle research. The consortium consists of Ford and seven other automakers working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop technology that will allow cars to talk to cars to enhance safety, reduce traffic congestion and make driving more enjoyable.
He grew up a self-anointed gear head and computer geek and figured becoming an automotive engineer would satisfy both interests.
Brovold graduated with a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 2002. He furthered his studies at the University of Minnesota, where he worked within the Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute. Among the technologies he worked on was one aimed at teenage drivers, similar to Ford’s current MyKey® owner controls feature.
“I’ve always liked the idea of being involved with stuff that’s a little ways out there…things that haven’t been done yet such as intelligent vehicles that some day, in the not so distant future, could make our roads safer,” he said.
Brovold went on to earn a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, then joined Ford as an engineer in Active Safety, a group that is pioneering crash-avoidance technologies.
As a member of CAMP, Brovold works part of the time with engineers from the other automakers to develop the common technology for intelligent vehicles, and part of his time on proprietary Ford technology. Specifically, Brovold works on the development and testing of technology that identifies a vehicle’s position.
“What we’re trying to do is come up with new solutions and combinations of sensors that can provide higher levels of accuracy,” Brovold said. “The work we’re doing now is paving the way for the future of this technology. It’s very exciting to be involved at this exact level at this exact time as intelligent vehicles become more of a reality.”
Personal Insights and Fun Facts
- Brovold is an avid skier who also enjoys mountain biking and hiking
- At least once a year Brovold takes a trip to a place where he can take part in his favorite outdoor activities. His favorite place to go is Jackson Hole, Wyo.
- Brovold has been married to Kristen for six years. They have one child
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 164,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.
Jan. 27, 2011