The next-generation Ford Fusion could arrive sooner than expected. Even better, it could bring Ford’s new autonomous technology to the road as well. Ford revealed the second-generation Fusion Hybrid with autonomous technology built in towards the end of the December. The sleek style brings a streamlined appearance that looks oddly normal for such futuristic technology.
The unveiling of the next-generation Fusion Hybrid comes with the announcement that the automaker plans to increases its fleet of autonomous vehicles from 30 to 90 cars in 2017. Ford is currently testing the autonomous technology in several states and has plans to expand into the United Kingdom and Germany.
Ford announced that it plans to keep its original goal of launching autonomous cars for ride-sharing services by 2021. The latest technology allows the car to take in data spanning two football fields in each direction.
The Detroit-based automaker has made several major investments, including a $75 million investment in Velodyne, a company that makes LIDAR sensors.
The car’s autonomous technology will take in one terabyte of data for every hour it’s on the road. That data is analyzed by the system located in the trunk.
We here at Packey Webb Ford can’t wait to see what the future holds for Ford’s autonomous technology!
“Gamification has proven to be an effective way to solve real-life problems in many areas.” That’s according to a recent press release from Ford.
What is gamification? It’s when you take something complex and difficult to do and make a game out of it. In this case, the ‘real-life problems’ that Ford are referring to have to do with all the modes of transportation you might find in a city and how they might integrate into a harmonious system.
Ford has asked developers to virtually solve these problems by making them into a fun online game. The competition is called the Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge. Ford announced the challenge at Gamescom 2015—a gamers conference that recently occurred in Cologne, Germany.
Developers could use features like rewarding users for saving money, reducing emissions, or just making a successful trip. A panel of experts, including professors and a creative director at a big-time studio, will choose five finalists. The winner will get 10,000 Euros.
“The Smart Mobility Game Challenge is designed to harness the creativity of the gaming community and empower gamers to take a fresh approach to tackling today’s global mobility issues,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.
Hosting one of the first ever “Hackathons,” Ford recently brought together 100 middle school students to promote STEM education. This competition stressed the importance of high-tech skills, encouraging kids to get more involved with software development.
According to Ford, the Ford STEAM Lab Competition awarded a scholarship each to the two best students. A $15,000 award and $12,500 award were given to two Michigan middle school students that showed the most promise. In order to organize the competition, Ford worked closely with the UAW to extend student participation opportunities.
“This event was designed to give students a voice in their education while learning software coding skills needed to be technology entrepreneurs,” said Shawn Wilson, manager of Multicultural Community Engagement at Ford. “What students taught us is just as valuable — utilize existing technology, develop flexible schedules so they can continue learning on their own time, and improve ways to communicate outside the classroom.”
This event is designed to encourage kids to get excited about STEM education, especially in fields related to the automotive industry. By doing so, Ford is looking to give students the best opportunities possible while at the same time strengthening the future of the auto industry.
Fleet management has always been a strong suit for Ford, and will continue this tradition with its new Telematics technology. Ford Telematics is powered by Telogis, and will help customers to more efficiently operate and manage fleet vehicles.
The new technology is a collection of cloud-based applications that provide insight into the full workday of each driver on the team. Some of the technology’s features are listed below:
- Data Coverage (Includes idle time and diesel emissions)
- Fuel Management
- Mobile Connectivity (Allows for connectivity with managers to relate information like hours of service, vehicle inspection reports, and compliancy)
- In-Cab Alerts (Includes warnings about abrupt acceleration, excessive speeding, and idle time)
- Driver Scorecards, Customizable Reports, and Dashboards that all provide information on driver behavior and vehicle efficiency
In a recent press release, Raj Nair, Ford chief technical officer and group vice president, said, “Ford, in coordination with Telogis, is leading the development of smart solutions for hardworking fleets so they can maximize their operations to better serve their customers.”
The new technology is available on Ford models, 2009 or newer, like the Super Duty and F-150 pickup trucks, Transit, Transit Connect, E-Series vans, and Police Sedans.
For more information on Ford’s new Telematics technology or to check out the latest award winning lineup, visit us at Packey Webb Ford!
Electric cars just keep getting better. And why shouldn’t they? In some ways, they’re no more than large computers on wheels, and we can already do some incredibly nifty things with computers.
At the Mobile World Congress, Ford announced a new MyFord Mobile smartphone app and website, which would enable drivers to remotely perform a number of actions related to their electric vehicle, including charging management.
MyFord Mobile will be available for the C-MAX Energi plug-in and the Ford Focus Electric, both of which will be more convenient to use thanks to the app. It lets drivers check vehicle range and ensure their cars are ready at the date and time needed, and even lets them set a chosen cabin temperature so that the car is nice and cozy by the time they actually get in it.
It will also have gaming-inspired graphics that show CO2 emissions saved, represented by exercise balls and hot-air balloons.
“Electric car drivers want to understand the environmental benefits their vehicle brings, and also to know how they could improve their contribution to help make a better future. MyFord Mobile helps them to do this,” said Don Butler, Ford’s executive director of Connected Vehicle and Services.
With Ford’s new technology, your phone and car have never been so close—but allow us to explain.
Ford has developed a slick new operating system and hardware package for its fleet of cars and trucks that is stacked with stand-alone features and smartphone compatibility and will be available to consumers this year. The 2015 fleet will receive Ford Sync® Applink™ 3.0, which turns the dashboard of every Ford into an interface for your smartphone. Many Fords will house a touchscreen you can manipulate to pinch, squeeze, and scroll your applications for the data you need.
Speaking of apps, now you have access to your favorite maps app that is projected directly to your console, making your Ford a part of your phone. Many other apps work with Sync 3 including music streaming and the intuitive voice commands for cycling through your music genres whenever you need your power-song.
Not to mention that Ford Sync is simply the platform for upgrades and customization in the open-source SmartDeviceLink. Developers have access to the operating system and can now produce a growing number of shortcuts, apps, and other hacks to make your next Ford your own. Already, 2015 Fords will be able to sync and update wirelessly every time you park in range of your wireless router!
Keep posted about Ford Sync 3 and try one for yourself at Packey Webb Ford.
With all the recent innovations in vehicle connectivity and infotainment systems, it’s surprising to see that few automakers have developed drive modes – until now. Working with Life360, Ford has modified the Ford SYNC AppLink system with a Drive Mode to improve over all driver awareness and safety.
The new system features Life360, which is a very popular smartphone app used to keep families in touch (we’re talking 48 million families, so far). According to Ford, the new system will connect to your car via an app, which prompts Drive Mode. This tells people when the driver is busy on the road, and when they reach a destination. No more calling mom to say you got home safe.
“Responsible driving habits are top priorities at Ford Motor Company, and we are pleased to be working with Life360 to help reduce driver distractions,” said Julius Marchwicki, Ford Connected Services Product manager. “With the integration of Life360 Drive Mode, we are helping to keep drivers’ attention on the road by letting their loved ones know that they are behind the wheel.”
Ford demonstrated the App at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to much success. SYNC is already available on 10 million cars worldwide, so hooking up the app is as easy as ever. Though a seemingly small upgrade, the new app could just save lives.