OREANDA-NEWS. November 12, 2015. In the midst of the launch of the new Ford Ranger and new Ford Everest in Australia, Ford is taking time to inspire kids in Victoria and New South Wales to become part of the next great innovators at Ford.

While many people think the auto industry is diminishing in Australia, Ford is touring the country, talking to youths and touting the fact that it is the only auto company that can fully develop vehicles within Australia. In fact, Ford is investing more than \\$300 million in R&D this year alone, in addition to the nearly \\$2 billion it has invested over the last six years.

As part of this investment, Ford is inspiring young innovators to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities as work progresses on the next generation of vehicles. Ford also collaborates with FIRST Robotics and Melbourne- and Sydney-area high school students who build robots to compete around the world.

“Our talented team is designing and engineering cars with leading safety, fuel economy technology and quality for Australians,” said Graeme Whickman, president and CEO, Ford of Australia. “We want to inspire the innovative minds who could be part of the next generation of Ford employees by investing even more in community programs and STEM education.”

To provide inspiration to potential Ford employees of the future, Ford launched the “Ford Fuels Innovation” campaign. The campaign is a 10-stop tour that shows students how STEM skills relate to today’s cars and the “semi-autonomous” technologies they use today. 

“Most people think the Mustang is just a sports car,” says Whickman. “But we think Australians will be surprised to see all of the technologies it has, such as our Blind Spot Monitoring System and Lane Keep Aid, which uses radar, a camera and other sensors to help drivers identify, and possibly avoid hazards.”

The tour will visit a number of schools and teen robotics competitions in the Sydney and Melbourne areas. Working with FIRST Robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) over the course of the tour, the events will feature remote-controlled cars built out of Legos™.

Parents and kids will be invited to learn about how the vehicles were built, and then given the opportunity to challenge each other in a miniature event course. Competitors with the fastest times will be individually recognized, and will earn a \\$10 donation for FIRST Robotics. By the end of the challenge, participants hope to reach their goal of \\$50,000 in donations.

In addition to the remote-controlled vehicles, each event will feature some of the latest and greatest vehicles from Ford’s line-up, including the new Mustang and the new Everest, two vehicles that are brand new to Australia, as well as the Ford Kuga.