Ford Motor Company makes it to Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies issue for 2013. The annual recognition honors companies like Apple, Amazon, Google and Target along with emerging companies like Square, Fab and Tumblr. Ford ranked in at 27, and is the only full-line automaker named to the 2013 list. Nike takes top honors following the release of their FuelBand and Flyknit technology innovations.
Ford's opening of their R&D Lab in Palo Alto in June 2012, where engineers collaborate with some of the best and brightest technology minds to make cars more like smartphones and tablets, was particularly highlighted by the magazine's editors.
Among the innovative features already available in Ford vehicles, driving aids such as adaptive cruise control, Lane Keeping System, and the award-winning SYNC connectivity system which connects drivers to the latest mobile technology through voice commands were also mentioned. Also included in the list were app-based integrations like Roximity, which identifies nearby restaurants and retailers based on the driver's preference; Workload Estimator, which blocks incoming calls and texts from the connected mobile phone if the driver acts too stressed; and a future Automatic Updates, which makes scheduled updates via an integrated in-car Wi-Fi receiver.
The Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company's most significant, high-profile editorial effort of the year to identify enterprises that exemplify the best in business from around the world. This year's honorees include major brands like Samsung and Coca-Cola, creative upstarts like Nasty Gal and Uber, and social disruptors like Coursera and D-Rev. International companies making it to the Most Innovative Companies list are Kenya's Safaricom (No. 9), Israel's SodaStream (No. 23), Russia's Oktogo online travel service (No. 35) and China's Landwasher (No. 38).
Notably absent for this year were social media giants Facebook and Twitter. “Neither produced innovations worth celebrating,” the magazine explains in an accompanying article.