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USA: Ford to open research lab in Silicon Valley

SAN JOSE, Calif — SAN JOSE, Calif. – Hoping to tap cutting-edge technology and talent, Ford Motor Co. will join the ranks of carmakers that have opened research centers in California’s Silicon Valley, the company announced Friday.

Ford’s move follows General Motors and a host of foreign carmakers that already have local outposts with researchers working on new advances in automotive technology, emphasizing computer science and Internet communications.

Silicon Valley also is the home of electric-carmaker Tesla Motors, but automotive research here goes beyond the development of batteries and vehicles that run on alternative power.

“Obviously, a lot of trends are being born here. The car companies want to get to know about these trends as early as possible,” said Sven Beiker, executive director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University.

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