JIM BUCZKOWSKI: THE SYNC SQUAD
Jim Buczkowski, director, Global Electrical and Electronics Systems Engineering
- As director of Global Electrical and Electronics Systems Engineering for Ford Motor Company, Buczkowski leads the team responsible for all electronics on Ford vehicles
- Buczkowski enjoys tinkering with technology at work and at home
- Buczkowski has been with Ford for 30 years
A 30-year Ford veteran, Jim Buczkowski, director of Global Electrical and Electronics Systems Engineering (EESE) for Ford Motor Company, leads the team responsible for all electronics on Ford vehicles, including taking a concept like Ford SYNC® and developing the built-in hardware and software needed to make it work.
Buczkowski is no stranger to tinkering with technology.
“With the help of the Internet, I hacked my first TiVo to add extra disc space for more storage,” noted Buczkowski, a subscribed Beta tester for not only TiVo, but Slingbox and Microsoft Windows – Vista and Windows 7. “I find these projects a great outlet to learn and understand the latest and greatest technology and how the technology may apply to my job at Ford.”
His ultimate man cave at home includes a plasma TV that can receive streamed audio and video from any of the six computers in his house, a networked hard drive that contains videos and music, and a couple of TiVos.
It’s the seamless connectivity Buczkowski has created in his home that he and his team are extending to the vehicle with technologies such as SYNC and voice-activated navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link™.
“Our focus is on taking electronics and computer technology and applying them to cars and trucks and making the vehicle an extension of your home…connected, comfortable, convenient, productive and safe,” said Buczkowski, who holds a master’s in electrical engineering.
Through the handiwork of Buczkowski’s team, Ford SYNC is the industry’s first system to seamlessly integrate a variety of technologies to provide hands-free phone operation, media player control, emergency assistance, diagnostic and information services, as well as traffic reports and directions on the road. The technologies that support these features include voice recognition, text-to-speech, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, an external and Internet-based information network, data-over-voice technology and a suite of off-board services with voice portal, text messaging and many more.
Some of his team’s latest work involves helping Ford redefine how customers react and interact with a vehicle’s controls and displays, examining not only more natural and conversational voice-recognition technologies, but playing with the idea of more configurable controls that can adapt to a wider range of customers.
Ford’s most recent breakthrough example in this human machine interface (HMI) arena is SmartGauge™ with EcoGuide instrument cluster, which launched on the 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan Hybrids. Buczkowski refers to these innovations as “teasers” of what’s still to come in Ford’s near future.
“It’s all about creating a truly rich driving environment with no compromise in connectivity – where everything you expect will be at your fingertips or voice command, integrated into your drive with minimal distraction,” 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 201,000 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.
Sept. 30, 2009