John Schneider thrives on the cutting edge, the place where technology and the automobile intersect. As Ford’s global chief engineer for HMI, Driver Controls and Infotainment, the fast pace of Ford technology advancements keep Schneider’s days filled with nonstop excitement.
“I love the challenge of my job and the opportunity to bring to market products that customers love to drive,” he explained. “I have a fantastic team to work with – everyone is incredibly motivated, intelligent and absolutely dedicated to keeping Ford at the forefront of democratizing technology. No one around here is shy about pushing the envelope.”
Schneider earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Marquette University and his MBA from the University of Wisconsin. After joining Ford in 1990, he has served in several product development and strategy positions including overseas assignments in Cologne, Germany; London, England; and Gothenburg, Sweden. He has been in his current role since October 2005.
Schneider admits that it isn’t necessarily a love for cars that has kept him at Ford, although these days he is quite pleased with the company’s portfolio of offerings.
“I have a passion for using technology to enhance the driver experience – at Ford it is so dynamic and fast moving – every year coming closer to the incredible pace and innovation of the consumer electronics industry,” he said. “The incredible advancements we’re making in our products will become important differentiators in the automotive industry.”
Taking it to the next level
The latest technology to stem from Schneider’s group – which has already introduced industry favorites SYNC®, Voice-Activated Navigation with Travel Link™, SmartGauge™ and THX®-certified audio – is MyFord Touch, a driver connect technology that delivers a smarter, safer, simpler way to connect drivers with in-car technologies and their digital lives.
“MyFord helps the driver be totally in control of the vehicle and yet very intuitively access all the features and information available,” he said. “Ford customers can be as entertained, connected or productive as they desire during their commutes, while fully supporting the primary role of the automobile – moving from origin to destination, safely and efficiently.”
In Schneider’s opinion, it’s a major step forward in driver controls, in-car entertainment and connectivity – a true game-changer for Ford.
“In the past, vehicle control and infotainment systems were often a compromising experience, but MyFord changes everything. Our goal is to promote seamless transitions from home to workplace or wherever your destination may be,” he said. “More and more, our customers are living connected lifestyles. Now, with the suite of technologies and customer-focused user interface within MyFord, you don’t have to compromise that connected experience just because you’re in a car.”
There’s no better time than now to bring this technology to market, especially with the quick pace at which the consumer electronics industry is moving, Schneider believes.
“We are converging real-time with the consumer electronics industry, and it’s incredibly interesting and challenging,” he said. “The best part is that we are making a real difference with our products, setting us apart from our competition and giving customers another great reason to stay with or come back to Ford.”
Personal Insights and Fun Facts
# # #
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 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
Jan. 7, 2010