As the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is underway in Las Vegas, Ford announced its mobility strategy for 2015. Besides investing in new technologies to improve its line-up, Ford is looking to solve some of the most challenging transportation challenges worldwide. Although CES is mostly run by tech companies (in the traditional sense of the word), a record ten car companies showed up this year in Las Vegas. This trend is only going to get bigger, as more car manufacturers embrace wireless and mobile technology. Let’s see what Ford has in store for 2015.
At CES, Ford outlined its plan to take on connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, and big data. Through 25 mobility experiments worldwide – nine in the Americas, seven in Asia and nine in Europe and Africa, Ford will anticipate the needs of tomorrow’s vehicles. Mark Fields, Ford CEO, talked about a world where vehicles talk to each other as they communicate to the power grid and our smart homes. As the world population grows, Fields said, there is a need for a different transportation model and Ford is trying to stay ahead of the game.
Amongst the most notable experiments was Parking Spotter, conducted in Atlanta with Georgia Tech. The experiment uses driver-assist sensors already present in Ford vehicles, like sonar and radar, and it uses them to search for open parking spaces. The data is then shared on a cloud database and is made available for other drivers in the city. Ford will then use this information for its driver-assist app, which will help drivers find parking spots with ease. You can call it the crowdsourcing of parking spots.
To help drivers get better insurance rates, Ford is also experimenting with what it calls Data Driven Insurance. In London, Ford will set up a “driving behavior passport” to reward good driving. Remember, your vehicle already has a myriad of sensors that constantly monitor speed, throttle, breaking, gas consumption and more. The idea is that drivers will be able to take this information with them, either from car to car or from insurance to insurance, and get a lowered rate.
Although Ford already offers Crew Chief Fleet Manager to help businesses stay on top of their fleets, the company is looking for ways to improve it. Engineers are already working with HP, one of the world’s biggest tech companies, to track driving routines of its commuting employees. This experiment hopes to bring in new data on how drivers react to external factors like traffic and weather and on how to further improve their driving experience.
Another big part of Ford’s presentation was the autonomous vehicles, which the company said is going great. Ford, like many other car and tech companies, is experimenting with self-driving vehicles and is certain this technology will take-off in the future. Many of today’s safety features were made possible by experimenting with autonomous driving, like lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision assist, active park assist and pedestrian detection.
Ford also used the CES stage to talk about its upcoming SYNC 3, the company’s new in-car entertainment and communications system. SYNC 3 promises to bring better interface and improved car-driver interactions, like revised speech commands and voice recognition. Remember Ford is constantly looking for new technologies to improve its vehicles and how drivers interact with them. Check out our current inventory and see what the new 2015 models have to offer.
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