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Dean Stevenson, Chief Engineer-Global Design Engineering, Ford Motor Company: Lighting Challenge to Accelerate Development of LED Technology

By Posted on February 3, 2015
Blog, NextChallenge

Dean Stevenson PhotoFord Motor Company has recently teamed up with NextEnergy to launch a technology innovation challenge for industry suppliers to help advance state-of-the-art automotive lighting.

Innovation drives every part of our business at Ford, and lighting is no different. The global design engineering team I lead is always challenged to find new and innovative ideas to further improve our exterior and interior lighting and maintain our design leadership.

Click here to watch an information video about our technology needs.

Through this challenge, we are looking to inspire industry suppliers to create advanced new automotive lighting products and to accelerate advanced lighting technology ideas and innovative concepts that will continue to drive innovation, product differentiation and excellence, energy savings, and economic development. This will ultimately help us create incremental value for the benefit of our customers.

Specifically, we are looking for advanced lighting technology solutions to address one or more of the following:

  • Feather weighting: develop lighting products that create the greatest amount of light (lumens/watt) with the lowest weight (lumens/kg).
  • Design for manufacture: conceive ways to make existing advanced lighting technology cost-effective and suitable for high-volume production.
  • Interior lighting: create interior ceiling LED (light-emitting diode) lights that emulate daylight; provide unique ideas for heads up lighting displays or other interior lighting
  • Structural lighting: Integrate LEDs and OLEDs (organic light-emitting diode) into interior and exterior structural components, such as seats, door panels, or RCL lamps, and exterior body panels provide novel concepts that integrate into the vehicle illumination styling components that create distinct signature branding of Ford products/models.
  • Lifecycle: Foster the design of recyclable lighting technology, including biodegradable lighting.

All concepts should address: The projected lifetime of the driver electronics expressed in MTBF with driver run in 85C ambient.

Winners of NextChallenge: Lighting will gain the opportunity to build valuable relationships with new partners, in addition to being awarded up to $80,000 in cash and/or in-kind support.

The application deadline is coming up quick – be sure to apply by the March 6, 2015 deadline.

For more information and applications, please visit


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