K. Venkatesh Prasad has an intriguing job title – Group and Senior Technical Leader of Vehicle Design and Infotronics for Ford Research and Innovation – and the projects he oversees are even more intriguing. Among other things, he is responsible for the research and architecture of electrical, electronics and embedded software technologies – exactly what the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show is all about!
You can join him here on Ford Social for a live chat at Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. PST to talk about open innovation at Ford and ways to use cloud technology, as well as health and wellness.
Attracted by an open-ended challenge to discover ways to integrate “intelligence” into cars and trucks, Prasad joined Ford to work with a small group of engineers in the development of adaptive headlamp and lane-mark detection technologies.
In the late 1990s, he was imagining the vehicle as a software platform where features and services could be beamed in from the outside – without incremental built-in hardware. This was during the time when others were hot to find better ways to build in phones and trunk-mounted six-disc CD changers. That revolutionary mind-set led to the development of Ford SYNC. Software-based, the voice-activated SYNC system allows Ford and Lincoln vehicle owners to seamlessly connect to their cellphone, MP3 players and a host of other features and services in and through their vehicle – hands-free.
Prasad earned a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., in 1990, and a master’s degree from Washington State University, Pullman. Before coming to the U.S., in 1984, he obtained engineering degrees from IIT-Madras (1984) and NIT-Trichy (1980).