The FORD NAIAS Digital Summit

This is a guest post by Jenn Quillen, of, who was kind enough to represent this blog at the The 2013 FORD NAIAS Digital Summit in Detroit.

While attending the Ford NAIAS Digital Summit during the North American International Auto Show, I had the good fortune to visit amazing Ford Motor Company landmarks and to learn more about the Ford Motor Company’s history and their plans for the future. My whirlwind adventure with Ford ended with my attendance of the Ford press conference on January 15th the new Ford Atlas concept was revealed!

In 2013, the Ford Motor Company plans to continue to go further in the areas of sustainability and technology.

My trip began with a visit to the Henry Ford Museum, which showcased everything from the progression of design in Ford models through the years, to the only intact Dymaxion House, to an actual train!

henry ford museum ford naias digital summit #fordnaias

After taking a brief tour of the Henry Ford Museum, we sat down to hear about the collaboration between Ford and MILK Studios.

The new Ford Fusion was designed to strike an emotional chord with customers by balancing form and function, all while continuing to embrace the growing trend of making high-end products more affordable for everyone. MILK Studios recently revealed “Wall to Wall: The Fusion Collective,” a gallery experience uniting fashion, music, photography, film and technology in one of a kind artistic displays.

Ford’s collaboration with MILK Studios is a result of Ford Motor Company’s continually evolving design strategy that includes the use of virtual reality technology, sustainable materials, and creative disciplines to advance exterior design and the in-car experience.

Ford collaboration with MILK Studios ford digital summit #fordnaias

If you are in the Detroit area, I highly recommend that you carve out a day to spend at the Henry Ford Museum, as there are so many parts of the museum to explore and discover that you will want plenty of time to spend there!

You can find out more about the Henry Ford Museum here.

My second day of the Ford NAIAS Digital Summit began with a trip to the Ford Rouge Factory for a tour of their facilities. You may have seen me tweeting away with the #FordNAIAS hashtag as I made my way through the facilities; there was just so much information to share!

Tours of the Ford Rouge Factory are self-guided and include five-part parts: a presentation in the Legacy Theater, a 360 degree experience in the Art of Manufacturing Theater, a visit to the Observation Deck where you can view the Ford Rouge Factory’s eco-friendly living roof, a tour through the Dearborn Truck Plant and finally, a walk through the Legacy Gallery.

ford rouge factory tour #fordnaias

Walking through the Dearborn Truck Plant was the highlight of the Ford Rouge Factory tour, as we were able to see exactly where the new Ford F-150s are assembled! As you make your way through the factory on an elevated walkway, visitors are able to see different stages in the assembly process – which ends with a test drive on a quarter of a mile track right outside the factory.

You can find out more about the Ford Rouge Factory, along with tour hours and admission prices, on

That evening, we visited the Tech Shop to learn more about Ford Motor Company’s merging of technology, artistry and design. I watched a presentation about Ford’s incredible award-winning SYNC technology and learned how the AppLink feature allows drivers to connect their favorite apps to their car. I had no idea that this even existed and was so excited to be able to come back and tell you all about it!

App developers are now joining the Ford Developer Program to allow vehicle owners to control some of their favorite apps for in-vehicle use with SYNC AppLink, using voice commands. With a diverse set of categories such as Music & Entertainment, News & Information to Navigation & Travel, Health and Wellness, Ford offers a great opportunity for developers to integrate their apps into the car.

The Tech Shop is a wondrous place where artists and craftsmen can come to take classes on everything from woodworking to graphic design – and then use the knowledge they’ve acquired to use the tools within the Tech Shop. With everything from an automobile lift, to woodworking machinery, to a jewelry making station, you can find a class and the tools to complete any project you need at the Tech Shop!

tech shop detroit #fordnaias

My last day of the Ford NAIAS Digital Summit was by far the most informative and exciting. At the Ford press conference, we watched as the new Ford Atlas concept was revealed for the first time!

The all-new Ford Atlas concept. In a word? Stunning.

ford atlas concept #fordnaias

image courtesy of the Ford Motor Company

After 36 years of creating America’s best-selling pick up trucks, Ford really knocked it out of the park with this concept! The Ford Atlas concept showcases the design, capability, fuel efficiency and smart technologies that is surely to become the future of pickup trucks.

Inspired by decades of listening to drivers at the places they work and play, the Ford Atlas concept has a purpose-driven design that includes stylish wheel arches, a wide stance and a gorgeous, bold grille. Every aspect of the new Ford Atlas concept reinforces its stylish and functional Built Ford Tough image.

You can find out more about Ford sustainability practices, as well as their concentration on design, technology and function for future models at

Airfare and accommodations were provided to attend the Ford NAIAS Digital Summit. All opinions are my own.  

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  1. Wow, that truck has some pretty striking lines and, well, kinda reminds me of a transformer. The AppLink feature is a smart idea and I’m sure one that will be a hit with Ford’s customers.

  2. It was wonderful meeting Jennifer at #FordNAIAS – I see she even captured me in one of the photos.
    I enjoyed the unveiling of the new Ford Atlas Concept and the Henry Ford Museum was memorable for sure!

  3. That is a nice looking truck!!

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