"Overall, when you look at our business, we're not only a car manufacturing company. We are a technology company," he said. "As our vehicles become part of the Internet of things and as consumers give permission to us to collect that data, we'll also become an information company."
What does The Blue Oval want with all of its drivers' information? Fields said Ford is building up its analytics work force as it gets ready to process the terabytes of data that will come streaming in in the future. Fields said that the end result of all of this data collection will be some product that Ford can then offer those customers (and, of course, new ones). So, instead of asking customers what do they want, Ford will be able to ask if they want Thing A or Thing B, suspecting with some confidence that the customers will actually want both. "Our differentiator will be how we use that data to satisfy our customers in ways that they never thought possible in their lives," he said.