Wanna be Buried in Your Truck? Ford’s Cultural Anthropologist is Cool with That
In order to be the worldwide leader in anything, you have to be able to predict the future. While actual predicting of the future is impossible, Ford wants to make sure they are ahead of the pack when it comes to changes.
That’s why they have a full-time futurist on staff, and also a cultural anthropologist.
Michael Thomas is tasked with understanding the connection that people have with cars, on both a personal and cultural level. Vehicles often represent more than just a form of transportation to people, and understanding that relationship will ultimately help design vehicles that people want.
Some people have such a strong connection to their vehicle, that they want to be buried in it when they die. Others name their car and give it a personality. In some countries, the automobile even bridges gender gaps and makes everyone an equal on the road.
Michael doesn’t just look at car related data, but goes beyond for other lifestyle and cultural data. Only then can you really understand the motivation for why people choose the vehicles that they do, and only then will you be able to help predict future changes and keep up with cultural demands.
We’d be curious to see what he thinks about autonomous vehicles.
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