Joseph Stinnett tinkered with cars in a small garage as a teenager. Today he is part of a team developing technology for the next frontier of safety for one of the largest corporations in the world.
Stinnett is a Ford Motor Company systems engineer and 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.
“Intelligent vehicles present a new set of challenges every day and because of that, no two days are ever the same,” Stinnett said. “We start a new project on the blackboard, then we do implementation, integration and testing, and then start all over again with a new project.”
Stinnett, 32, said he had a love of cars from a very young age. For that reason he landed his first job in the auto business as an automotive technician in his native Virginia.
He went to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University where he graduated in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in electric engineering.
Stinnett first worked for Cummins Inc., a diesel engine manufacturer based in Columbus, Ind., where he was involved with vehicle controls and emissions aftertreatment. Stinnett said he was eager to move from that position to automotive research.
“I think I always wanted to work in research so I could be involved in developing futuristic technologies that could change people’s lives,” he said. “I really enjoy working on intelligent vehicles because they represent the potential to dramatically change the way we drive.”
Stinnett was hired at Ford in 2005, working with robotics in Active Safety. He began his work with CAMP in 2006. Today, Stinnett spends about 60 percent of his time working with engineers from other automakers to develop a universal “language” that intelligent cars might use. The rest of the time he helps Ford develop proprietary methods for how vehicles will connect. Stinnett said one of the challenges of working at CAMP is walking the fine line between collaboration and competition.
“What you talk about at CAMP is usually very different than what you would talk about with one of your own colleagues,” he said.
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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