SHANGHAI, China — Leveraging its strength in automotive connectivity technology, Ford is actively expanding its cooperation with Chinese universities through courses that reach out to the country’s talented youth.
To engage IT students, a team of experienced developers from the Ford Asia Pacific Connected Services team introduced a pilot course this summer at Shanghai’s prestigious Jiao Tong University.
The optional 10-hour course allows participants to explore Ford’s AppLink technology, write programs and exchange thoughts with “tutors” from Ford. The program also encourages students to see Ford as a technology leader and draws attention to Ford’s latest projects in China, including the AppLink Developer Program.
“Ford has extensive cooperation with universities across China, but in the past such efforts were mainly centered on car engineering and design,” said Joe Xia, who manages advanced product development for Connected Services at Ford Asia Pacific. “This time we stretched it further to Ford in-car connectivity technologies, giving students access to our resources and encouraging them to be innovative.”
As a team leader for the pilot course, Xia is looking into opportunities to expand the program to more Chinese universities. He hopes to eventually make it a region-wide initiative covering selected universities in China, Australia and India.
Though still in its initial stages, the program received positive feedback from students and members of Jiao Tong University’s Telecommunications faculty. Students successfully developed four AppLink programs by the end of their final session, and many of them showed great interest in joining future programs run by Ford.
Students chatting with a “tutor” from Ford to discuss unsolved issues