Who better to talk about the amazing extra features in the 2016 Ford Focus than a professional movie extra? Using the smart technology found in the 2016 Ford Focus, like the available voice-activated SYNC®3 and rear view camera, you can get a better look at what’s behind you.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Who better to talk about the amazing extra features in the 2016 Ford Focus than a professional movie extra? Using the smart technology found in the 2016 Ford Focus, like the available voice-activated SYNC®3 and rear view camera, you can get a better look at what’s behind you.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Jon Taffer shows these real fleet buyers how easy it is doing business with Ford Trucks. Maximize your uptime thanks to your local Ford dealership, where every vehicle your business needs is sold and serviced under one roof.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Getting heavy-duty equipment to your jobsite just got easier. Especially when your equipment weighs in the neighborhood of 12,000 pounds.
F-150 provides Best-In-Class Towing* with it’s 3.0L EcoBoost Ti-VCT V6 Engine**. Watch as Master Rigger, Sean Riley demonstrates Ford F-150 capability as it tows a giant excavator to the location of a fire-ravaged garage designated for demolition. Along the way, he also shows us how easy it is to line up hitch and trailer with the Dynamic Hitch Assist feature.
Monday, December 28, 2015
A trolling motor puts your boat in the perfect spot on the water. Pro Trailer Backup Assist on the Ford F-150 puts your trailer in the perfect spot on land.
Expert fisherman Conway Bowman uses a trolling motor to position his boat exactly where it needs to be. And with the help of available class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist on his Ford F-150, Conway simply turns a knob to guide his trailer exactly where he wants it to go. Another amazing tool in the world’s only high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body pickup.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
We asked a Ford F-150 owner to tell us everything about his truck—from how it helps him do his job to the power under the hood. This is what he told us.
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Friday, December 25, 2015
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Watch the first video in our series entitled “Culture Collabs” documenting how Ford joined forces with singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko, DJ Vashtie Kola, music producer The Alchemist, entrepreneur Mike Brown, artist collective The Seventh Letter, and digital artist Naturel. Over the last few months, they came together to connect our iconic Ford script logo with their respective crafts in Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The videos in this series will explore how music, art and culture drove the creative process behind this collaboration.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Record Number of Ford Inventions Drives Innovation in Autonomous, Connected Vehicles, Electrification, Wearables
- 2015 Ford patent applications include a record number of
inventions related to mobility for the company, including autonomous and
connected vehicles, wearable devices, eBikes, navigation and
- Ford has increased filings for electrification patents by nearly
200 percent in the last five years and has 275 U.S. patents on EcoBoost®,
with another 200 pending; Ford has more U.S. patents on gasoline
turbocharged direct-injection – EcoBoost – technology than any other
- Ford employees submitted nearly 6,000 inventions for patent consideration this year – up 36 percent from 2014
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 22, 2015 – Ford employees delivered so many new inventions this year that the company has achieved a record number of new patents as Ford Smart Mobility and other initiatives continue to accelerate the pace of innovation.
Innovators at Ford submitted nearly 6,000 new inventions in 2015, with many related to autonomous and connected vehicles, wearable devices, eBikes, navigation, ride-sharing platforms and other technologies – an increase of 36 percent from 2014. These include technologies to help autonomous vehicles detect other vehicles at obstructed intersections, technologies to alleviate range anxiety in electrified vehicles and to extend range in real-world driving. Another new invention is designed for cyclists – allowing riders to report road obstacles to help other riders.
“Our engineers and scientists are inventing ways to address mobility challenges more than ever – with more patent applications filed this year on car-sharing, wearables, bikes, cloud computing and in other areas to improve consumers’ lives inside and outside the car,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer. “By hosting – and participating in – more internal hackathons and innovation labs, our employees are stepping up to show that inventing is a priority for leadership in the industry.”
As part of Ford Smart Mobility – the company’s plan to use innovation to ascend to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics – 2015’s record-breaking output of inventions features thousands of technologies that enable key advancements in connectivity, analytics, wearables, electrification and safety.
For example, a new bike system can detect bike lanes and alert cyclists of path deviations. Another one would suggest a safe vehicle speed based on nearby infrastructure, average vehicle speed and GPS data, and a new front brake light technology would improve vehicle-to-vehicle and autonomous driving-to-pedestrian communication.
“The commitment Ford has made to innovation is commendable,” said James Malackowski, chairman and CEO, Ocean Tomo, an intellectual property firm. “The strength of Ford's patent portfolio has resulted in the company being named a constituent to the Ocean Tomo 300® Patent Index for five years.” Ocean Tomo annually releases its 300 Patent Index, which is based on the value of a company’s intellectual property.
Hundreds of Ford employees all over the world are responsible for this achievement. In the past three years, Ford employees in Asia Pacific increased invention disclosure submissions more than 140 percent, North America is up almost 100 percent and Europe saw an increase of more than 50 percent.
Recently, Ford showcased the breadth of its patent portfolio by licensing robotic test driving technology, which saves time and spares human test drivers from such physically demanding tasks as driving over curbs and through potholes to prove vehicle durability.
Patent leadership continues on efficient powertrain technologies
Ford has increased filing of electrification patents nearly 200 percent in the past five years.
In 2014, Ford filed for more than 400 patents dedicated to electrified vehicle technologies. Earlier this year, the company opened up its portfolio of electrified vehicle technology patents for licensing to competitive automakers to accelerate industry-wide research and development. Ford is a leading automaker for its inventions related to electrification.
Prior patents on technology that benefits consumers include Ford’s EcoBoost® engine lineup, which offers a combination of fuel efficiency and power to meet a wide range of driver needs. Ford has 275 U.S. patents on EcoBoost, with another 200 pending. Ford has more U.S. patents on gasoline turbocharged direct-injection – EcoBoost – technology than any other automaker today.
Inventing is an important part of Ford DNA. Henry Ford earned more than 150 patents for his inventions.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Ford Teams with Pivotal to Speed Development of Connected Car Experiences Capitalizing on New Ford SYNC Connect
- Ford is adopting Pivotal® software development services to deliver innovative products and to improve the customer experience – with the agility of a start-up
- Leveraging Pivotal Cloud Foundry® and Pivotal Big Data Suite to build its Ford Smart Mobility connected vehicle platform, Ford is becoming a nimbler software developer
- Through its work with Pivotal, Ford’s software development time has sped up from months to weeks in some cases; further improvements expected
- Recent introduction of new Ford SYNC® Connect technology provides avenue for additional connected services and features for customers in the future
PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 15, 2015 – Ford is teaming up with software company Pivotal®, giving the automaker the capabilities of an innovative software team to enhance its connected vehicle experience for customers, simplifying how they use technology to access vehicles and services.
Ford’s three-year strategic collaboration with Pivotal, which is dedicated to accelerating the digital transformation for enterprises, supports the automaker’s development of mobile and user experiences.
The collaboration aims to make Ford an even more agile software developer, enabling even better customer experiences by leveraging Ford’s recently introduced SYNC® Connect technology that provides remote access to vehicle features via a smartphone app.
This digital evolution is part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.
“As we grow to become both an automaker and a mobility company, having leading software development expertise is critical to delivering at the speed consumers expect,” said Marcy Klevorn, Ford vice president and chief information officer. “Customers today are used to frequent software updates on their mobile devices, and expect them with all technology. This collaboration with Pivotal allows for quicker vehicle software updates and an even better user experience for Ford customers.”
Working with Pivotal technology provides a platform where improved software skills can deliver innovative new experiences. That includes SYNC Connect, which delivers a true connected car experience due to its built-in modem.
Initial features of SYNC Connect include the ability to lock and unlock doors, schedule a future start to warm up or cool down the vehicle, check on fuel and oil levels, and locate where the vehicle is parked. Over time, these features will grow with software enhancements.
SYNC Connect makes its global debut in the spring in the new Ford Escape, with other vehicles to follow.
At Pivotal Labs in Toronto, Ford software developers are working side-by-side with Pivotal engineers to create software with the agility and expertise of Silicon Valley leaders.
Taking an idea into production within a few days gives Ford the ability to merge its auto industry expertise with modern software development capabilities, boosting its software-led digital transformation.
“Typically, it took Ford months to develop software,” said Bill Cook, Pivotal president and chief operating officer. “At the outset of working with Pivotal, Ford engineers started producing compelling software in a matter of weeks. Since mastering Pivotal Labs’ cutting-edge, agile software development methodologies, Ford now is operating at start-up speeds – able to create software in mere days.”
Ford plans to build a component of its new connected vehicle platform on top of Pivotal Cloud Foundry® – one of the world’s most powerful continuous-innovation cloud platforms. Ford also is leveraging Pivotal Big Data Suite to analyze data in real-time and over longer periods, to develop software-powered applications.
“When someone like Ford, with more than 100 years of domain expertise and data, evolves the ability to create software like Google, Uber or a venture-backed start-up, then they have a unique opportunity to disrupt the disrupters,” said Pivotal CEO Rob Mee.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
The Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL is all about sustainability, and so is Michele Ragussis. Watch as the executive chef drives from Provincetown, Mass., to Portland, Maine, in search of local, low-impact seafood for her restaurant, the Central House at the Crown & Anchor.
Ragussis, a New England native with a passion for food, updates her menu each season with new dishes sourced locally. Today, thanks to a recommendation from fishmonger Matt Henderson, she gets the best lobster available in Portland-straight from lobsterman Eric Tomazin's boat. With its state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery and Regenerative Braking, the Ford C-MAX Hybrid is the perfect match for Ragussis' search for sustainability.
Friday, December 18, 2015
It was love at first sight when Terry Maxfield spotted a Caspian Blue Mustang at Loudon Motors in Minerva, Ohio, back in 1965. Their affair lasted through five decades, countless memorable moments and a cross-country move to Arizona.
Recently, worried that the Mustang would deteriorate in her exposed carport, Terry had a great idea: She would return the vintage car to the dealership where she purchased it. Greg Loudon, who was only 5 when Terry bought the car from his father, was now in charge. Stunned at its incredible condition, Loudon purchased the Mustang back—but insists he’s just storing it for Terry. She’s allowed to visit the beloved showroom centerpiece whenever she likes.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Ford to Begin Autonomous Vehicle Testing on California Roads; Silicon Valley Lab Accelerates Smart Mobility Plan
- Ford secures California autonomous vehicle driving permit to begin testing fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid on public roads next year
- With more than 100 researchers, engineers and scientists on staff at its Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto, Ford now has one of the largest automotive research centers in Silicon Valley
- Ford research lab in Palo Alto supports Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics
Palo Alto, Calif., Dec. 15, 2015 – Fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans are taking to California streets next year, as Ford Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto continues growing.
Ford is officially enrolled in the California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program to test autonomous vehicles on public roads. The testing is further advancement of Ford’s 10-year autonomous vehicle development program and a key element of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.
Ford Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto is one of the largest automotive manufacturer research centers in the region, with a team of more than 100 researchers, engineers and scientists. The new research lab opened in January, expanding Ford’s presence in Silicon Valley, which dates back to 2012.
Eighty percent of the Palo Alto team joined Ford from the technology sector. The remaining 20 percent are Ford employees from the United States, China, Germany and Australia who bring automotive engineering and design expertise.
“Our Palo Alto team has grown significantly this year, using research and innovation to explore and develop future mobility solutions,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “We’re attracting top talent from around the world to join our team in Silicon Valley, including employees from local technology companies and universities who want to make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves.”
Ford has expanded its Silicon Valley facility from a 15-person office to a 100-plus-person research and development center. Research the lab has conducted this past year includes:
- Autonomous vehicle virtual test drive: This study allows virtual interaction between an autonomous car and pedestrians, replicating real-world situations to better understand and develop responses to some of the unexpected things that can happen on the road
- Sensor fusion: Sensors on autonomous vehicles detect and track objects in the vehicle’s view, fusing information together to provide a 360-degree view of the car’s surroundings – including street signs, other vehicles, even pedestrians
- Camera-based pedestrian detection: Camera sensors serve as the eyes of a vehicle, allowing the car to “see” and sense pedestrians
- Data-driven health care: Through data collection from Ranger pickups and motorcycles outfitted with OpenXC technology, Ford is working with Riders for Health to collect GPS data and mapping coordinates to make health care, vaccines and medication delivery to people throughout rural Africa more efficient and accessible
Ford has cultivated relationships with top universities this year, including University of California-Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University, Santa Clara and San Jose State. The company is further expanding its strategic research collaboration with Stanford in 2016, planning 13 projects covering all five areas of Ford Smart Mobility – more than double the number of collaborations this year.
“Having a strong presence in Silicon Valley allows us to further accelerate our research on a wide range of technologies, and apply our insights to create real-world mobility solutions,” said Ken Washington, Ford vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering.
Monday, December 14, 2015
NFL players and legends came together to rebuild the football field at St. Philips School in Texas as part of Build For the Future Day with SI Now.
Ford helped the efforts by supplying F-150 trucks to haul in new grass, bleachers, and a brand new scoreboard. Current and former Dallas Cowboy players also joined in the efforts to give back to their supportive community in Dallas, Texas.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Ford Accelerates Expansion of Electrified Vehicle Battery Research and Development, Benefiting Customers Worldwide
- Ford is expanding its global battery research and development
footprint for electrified vehicles this year, adding research and
engineering capabilities in Europe and Asia to take advantage of new
- The company has invested in a world-class battery research and
development facility at the University of Michigan to accelerate
advanced battery research and development
- Ford is the top seller of plug-in hybrid vehicles and second in total sales of electrified vehicles in America and has recently expanded its offerings in growing markets, including China, Taiwan and Korea
DEARBORN, MICH., Dec. 10, 2015 – Ford is expanding its electrified vehicles research and development program in Europe and Asia this year, creating a “hub and spoke” system that allows the global team to further accelerate battery technology and take advantage of market-specific opportunities.
The global expansion also allows Ford’s Electrified Powertrain Engineering teams to share common technologies and test batteries virtually, in real time, to develop new technology faster while reducing the need for costly prototypes.
Ford – the top seller of plug-in hybrid vehicles and second largest electrified vehicle seller in the U.S. – continues investing in electrified vehicle technology, research and development teams.
This year, for instance, Ford expanded its Electrified Powertrain Engineering (EPE) program in Dearborn to focus on developing new and innovative technologies for electrified vehicles by hiring more than 120 additional electrified vehicle engineers and moving the EPE team into its own dedicated facility, Ford Engineering Laboratory.
The expanded engineering capabilities enabled by the Ford Engineering Laboratory allow the team to control a network of world class facilities in China, England, Germany, and the U.S. Through this network, the EPE team will take advantage of globally connected technologies to develop lighter and more durable EV batteries.
Ford also is expanding in China and Europe to accelerate battery technology research and development for new markets. By using an innovative hardware and software system called HIL, or Hardware-in-the-Loop, the global team can test battery technology and control system hardware in a virtual environment to simulate how batteries and control modules would behave in different – often punishing – environments in any part of the world.
Testing of batteries across a range of temperatures and charge/discharge cycling conditions is important for determining how quickly a battery could degrade in different parts of the world.
The global Ford team has used temperature testing extensively for more than a decade as part of its production battery design and validation process. Through testing, Ford has been able to develop more durable batteries that can survive extreme cold and hot temperatures.
“Batteries are the life force of any EV, and we have been committed to growing our leadership in battery research and development for more than 15 years,” said Kevin Layden, director, Ford Electrification Programs. “Battery technology has evolved rapidly since we launched our first volume electrified product, the Ford Escape Hybrid, in 2004, and we look forward to developing even better vehicle battery technology for our customers.”
The company recently expanded its offerings in growing markets, including Taiwan and Korea, where the company offers the Mondeo Hybrid. Ford also announced it is bringing the C-MAX Energi Plug-In Hybrid and the Mondeo Hybrid to China.
University of Michigan Battery Lab
In October, Ford, the University of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced a new $9 million battery lab at the University of Michigan that is helping the company develop batteries that are smaller, lighter and less expensive to produce.
The state-of-the-art, small-scale manufacturing facility uses the latest battery development and research technologies to replicate the performance of full-scale production batteries, allowing for faster implementation in future production vehicles.
“The Battery Lab gives us an opportunity to test hundreds of chemistries and cell designs that can then be translated into the production line,” said Ted Miller, senior manager of energy storage strategy and Research. “This is truly a world-class environment for Ford to develop and test industry-leading battery technology.”
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Ford is expanding its use of sensor technology to motorcycles, helping researchers and programmers better understand how cars, bikes and other modes of transportation together can create new mobility solutions and make people’s lives better – including improving healthcare in rural West Africa.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Ford Dynamic Shuttle Service Moves from Experiment to Pilot, Providing Point-to-Point Shuttle Rides for Employees
- Ford is piloting a Dynamic Shuttle service as part of the Ford Smart Mobility plan – offering employees on-demand ride sharing around its Dearborn, Michigan, campus, applying insights from the initial phase of experimentation and consumer research
- Ford applied customer insights from different-sized cities around the world, developing software to map the quickest routes and customized Ford Transits featuring complimentary Wi-Fi, USB charging capability and ample personal storage space
- Ford’s technology team created Dynamic Shuttle in-house, including the algorithm that makes the technical platform possible; lessons could help diminish traffic congestion while making public transit more convenient and accessible
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 10, 2015 – Ford is piloting an on-demand Dynamic Shuttle service for its Dearborn, Michigan, employees this month, providing a new mobility solution featuring smart ride-hailing technology with premium customized shuttles, applying insights from earlier experiments and research with global urban commuters.
Dynamic Shuttle – a Ford Smart Mobility experiment announced in January – supports the company's broader effort to change the way the world moves. Ford Smart Mobility is the company’s plan to take connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics to the next level.
Providing a platform to test new ideas, the pilot ultimately could help Ford develop mobility solutions to improve the lives of people in cities struggling with traffic gridlock and few public transit options.
“Dynamic Shuttle is a major step forward on Ford’s mobility journey, which is designed to lead the company to develop truly innovative and disruptive ideas for diminishing traffic congestion and making public transit more convenient and accessible,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.
The company is piloting Dynamic Shuttle with four Ford Transit vehicles. The program is expected to expand to more shuttle vehicles in Dearborn – potentially increasing ridership as Ford tests the performance of the software and gathers fleet data.
To see the Dynamic Shuttle in action click here.
Convenient, efficient shuttling
The Ford shuttle service will begin processing customer ride requests on the new platform as it gradually migrates from its dispatch-based platform. A mobile-friendly Web portal and smartphone application will be available to riders next quarter.
The convenience of Ford’s Dynamic Shuttle will allow people to summon point-to-point rides on-demand.
Once a mobile-based ride request is made, the Ford-developed software – including the algorithm that drives the platform’s technical capabilities – immediately determines the shuttle best suited to address the request without extending the travel time of riders already aboard.
It then sends the rider an offer detailing proposed pick-up time and maximum duration of the trip, which the requester can accept or decline. If accepted, the request is dispatched to the shuttle driver’s navigation interface, along with the most efficient route to complete the requests of all riders in the timeliest manner.
Making a premium shuttle
In developing the software, Ford’s technology team also crafted the ideal shuttle vehicle.
Each Ford Transit shuttle has been adapted to carry six to eight passengers. Customer findings shaped the best vehicle height for easy on-boarding and off-boarding, as well as rider-requested amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi, USB charging ports for each seat and personal storage space.
“The Dynamic Shuttle solution could fill the gap between a taxi service and public busing in cities around the globe,” said Erica Klampfl, global mobility solutions manager, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “It also could offer a valuable service in emerging economies, where growth is outstripping development of the public transport infrastructure.”
Research teams surveyed people in various cities around the world to understand how consumer attitudes and needs vary from region to region. In the United States and United Kingdom, this included conducting research in different-sized cities – Atlanta, New York, Edinburgh and London. They also took into account growing national economies, studying Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in Brazil, along with Chennai and Mumbai in India.
“This effort is really about creating a service that makes people feel comfortable sharing space with a small number of strangers,” said John Abernethy, Dynamic Shuttle project lead for advanced product at Ford’s London location. “One of the important things we learned is about getting the right amount of personal space. What people feel comfortable with varies from city to city – and this has to be balanced with the impact on the cost of the service.”
Researchers found that many people requesting pick-up at their residence were willing to walk a short distance to a neutral location – both to make the service more efficient for others and to afford greater privacy for themselves.
The right mix of people and expertise
The concept sounds simple enough. But to operate seamlessly, Dynamic Shuttle requires global collaboration among Ford teams – groups studying people’s commuting behaviors, developing software and designing vehicles to craft the ultimate ride-sharing experience.
“This shows how Ford is using its product knowledge and adding to the mobility service experience through software,” said Thomas Miller, mobility experiment lead on the Dynamic Shuttle in Dearborn. “With all pieces working together, Dynamic Shuttle delivers a unique experience for the customer and offers a new alternative in convenient commuting.”
Initially available exclusively for Ford’s Dearborn campus, Dynamic Shuttle benefits could one day extend to other locations and to more applications, including delivery services, emergency medical transportation and beyond.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Ford Investing $4.5 Billion in Electrified Vehicle Solutions, Reimagining How to Create Future Vehicle User Experiences
- Ford is investing an additional $4.5 billion in electrified vehicle solutions by 2020, including the new Focus Electric with all-new DC fast-charge capability, which delivers 80 percent charge in an estimated 30 minutes and projected 100-mile range
- The company is adding 13 new electrified vehicles to its product portfolio by 2020; more than 40 percent of Ford’s nameplates globally will be electrified by the decade’s end
- Ford also redefining how future vehicles are created, moving from a features-based product development to a customer-experience-led process, applying insights from social scientists
Ford is adding 13 new electrified vehicles to its portfolio by 2020, when more than 40 percent of the company’s global nameplates will come in electrified versions. This represents Ford’s largest-ever electrified vehicle investment in a five-year period.
On the way next year is a new Focus Electric, which features all-new DC fast-charge capability delivering an 80 percent charge in an estimated 30 minutes and projected 100-mile range – an estimated two hours faster than today’s Focus Electric.
The new Focus Electric, which starts production late next year, also will provide North American and European customers:
- SmartGauge with EcoGuide LCD Instrument Cluster, which offers a multitude of customizable displays that can help the driver see real-time EV power usage to help maximize vehicle efficiency
- Brake Coach, another smart feature that coaches the driver on how to use smooth braking to maximize the energy captured through the Regenerative Braking System. The more energy a driver captures through braking, the more energy is returned to the vehicle’s battery
- Fun-to-drive character, with agile steering and handling engineered into the vehicle to give drivers a more connected feel to the road
Ford’s shift to add electrified vehicle solutions answers increasing global trends calling for cleaner, more efficient vehicles.
Ford also is reimagining how to set itself apart in the marketplace by focusing on the customer experience and not just the vehicle itself. The company is changing its product development process to support the shift.
“The challenge going forward isn’t who provides the most technology in a vehicle but who best organizes that technology in a way that most excites and delights people,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, Product Development. “By observing consumers, we can better understand which features and strengths users truly use and value and create even better experiences for them going forward.”
In addition to traditional market research, Ford is investing in social science-based research globally, observing how consumers interact with vehicles and gaining new insights into the cognitive, social, cultural, technological and economic nuances that affect product design.
“This new way of working brings together marketing, research, engineering and design in a new way to create meaningful user experiences, rather than individually developing technologies and features that need to be integrated into a final product,” Nair said. “We are using new insights from anthropologists, sociologists, economists, journalists and designers, along with traditional business techniques, to reimagine our product development process, create new experiences and make life better for millions of people.”
Next year, Ford is doubling the number of projects that use ethnographic research versus this year.
The team of social scientists already has spent months exploring topics such as the future of luxury transport, how people form relationships with their cars and the role of trucks in the American heartland.
ReD, a social science-based strategy consultancy, has been innovating with consumer goods and pharmaceutical companies for a decade. ReD started working with Ford – its sole automotive client – in 2012.
During the past three years, the team has invested more than 4,000 hours with thousands of vehicle users in more than 25 cities worldwide, taking 80,000 photos, nearly 3,000 hours of video and more than 8,000 pages of field notes, feeding countless insights to improve the product creation process.
“For 70 years, market research has been done by asking people for their opinion. But
Ford has always been fundamentally skeptical about that. Henry Ford used to say, ‘If I asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse,’” said Christian Madsbjerg, founder of ReD Associates and author of The Moment of Clarity. “I chose to work with Ford because this approach is in their DNA and is setting the company at the forefront of this advanced and bold process, which is redefining market research and silo-busting the way the company operates.”
Another new twist to the product development process is that designers no longer just sketch products but also full customer experience illustrations that visualize the experience each product is meant to deliver. The series of vignettes define a unique user journey that seamlessly integrates both hardware and software experiences.
This user experience design technique also plays an important role in developing the Ford Smart Mobility plan, which is designed to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics.
“As both an auto and a mobility company, we at Ford are going further than just designing the product to move people from point A to point B,” Nair said. “We are considering the way customers interact with our vehicles as a unified experience, looking for ways to excite and delight customers and make their lives better.”
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
In the second episode of In Focus, musicians Elle King and Betty Who talk music, body image, and what it means to trust in yourself. Watch as they cruise around in the sporty Ford Focus. Produced by Pitchfork.
Monday, December 7, 2015
Equipped with Class-Exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist,TM the Ford F-150 can help you put your trailer exactly where you want it.
In this demonstration, Master Rigger Sean Riley brings a Ford F-150 to a group of guys who specialize at felling trees in narrow spaces. The precision they gain from Pro Trailer Backup AssistTM allows them to back a heavily loaded trailer down a difficult path through a densely wooded area.
Sunday, December 6, 2015
All-New Ford F-Series Super Duty Brings $1.3 Billion Investment, 2,000 New Jobs to Kentucky Truck Plant
- Kentucky Truck Plant creates jobs and makes investment to help support production of the all-new F-Series Super Duty – the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty truck lineup ever
- $1.3 billion investment supports an all-new body shop, facility upgrades and retooling to build the new truck
- Ford has invested more than $1.5 billion in the commonwealth of Kentucky and the city of Louisville since 2014
Ford is investing $1.3 billion for an all-new body shop, facility upgrades and retooling to build the new aluminum-bodied Super Duty truck at Kentucky Truck Plant. Add to that the $80 million invested in 2014 to meet growing customer demand for Super Duty trucks and $129 million to support Lincoln MKC production at Louisville Assembly Plant, and Ford has invested more than $1.5 billion in the commonwealth of Kentucky and the city of Louisville in the past two years.
“With the introduction of the all-new Ford Super Duty, America’s best-selling heavy-duty pickup, we expect to continue growing our truck leadership,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Through this investment, we are continuing to show our commitment to Kentucky and the city of Louisville, as well as bringing to customers industry-leading trucks to help them take care of business and earn a living.”
Kentucky Truck Plant
Kentucky Truck Plant produces F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 Super Duty pickups and chassis cabs, as well as Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. The plant has produced more than 5 million Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks since it was introduced in 1999.
“Adding new jobs and more investment at Kentucky Truck Plant not only secures a solid foundation for our UAW members, but also strengthens the communities in which they live, work and play,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, National Ford Department. “Such success highlights our members’ hard work and dedication to building world-class, quality vehicles like the Super Duty.”
Ford began manufacturing vehicles in Kentucky in 1913 with 11 employees. Kentucky Truck Plant, which opened in 1969, covers 6 million square feet and employs close to 4,400 people.
“This tremendous investment and commitment to new job creation reconfirms the strength of a more than century-long relationship between Kentucky and Ford Motor Company,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. “We wholeheartedly appreciate Ford’s continued confidence in the commonwealth’s work force and pro-business environment, and we look forward to expanding our relationship in the future.”
Ford 2017 F-Series Super Duty
The all-new 2017 F-Series Super Duty pickup and chassis cab lineup is the toughest, smartest and most capable ever.
- Toughest: The all-new, high-strength steel frame; segment-first, high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body; and stronger axles, springs and suspension create the only Built Ford Tough heavy-duty truck lineup that works as hard as Super Duty customers
- Smartest: Sixteen class-exclusive new features and up to seven cameras make Super Duty the ultimate tow vehicle; adaptive steering technology makes maneuvering easier
- Most capable: Ford-engineered, Ford-built gasoline and diesel engines and transmissions power the all-new Super Duty lineup that tows and hauls more than ever
Super Duty underpins Ford’s commitment to continuously provide advanced powertrains and innovative technologies that answer customer demands. Ford Trucks offer power, toughness and durability, making Ford the top-selling truck brand.
There are five models in the Super Duty lineup: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum. The all-new Super Duty will be built at Kentucky Truck Plant and goes on sale late next year.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Ford Introduces Licensed Line of Trailers, Toy Haulers and Campers to Help Customers Explore America
- Ford is the first original equipment manufacturer to offer an extended line of licensed travel trailers, toy haulers and truck campers
- Ford is working with Indiana-based RV manufacturer Livin Lite, a subsidiary of recreational vehicle industry leader Thor Industries
- Ford and Livin Lite design teams worked together to incorporate unique and inspired Ford design language in the products
“Exploring America is in our customers’ DNA and recreational vehicles are part of Ford’s history, so these new camping options are great for our adventurous customers,” said Mark Bentley, Ford Licensing manager. “Ford is an industry leader in towing technology, so it was only natural for Ford to license its name and designs in this industry.”
The new Ford-branded truck campers and travel trailers are licensed and built by Indiana-based Livin Lite, a subsidiary of industry leader Thor Industries. Known for using strong, lightweight aluminum alloy in its products, Livin Lite’s Ford offerings will also be made out of the advanced material to save weight and offer resistance to rust and rot.
Ford slide-in truck campers will be offered for 6- and 8-foot truck beds, while the first travel trailers and toy haulers will be offered in 22- and 24-foot lengths. Additional products, including longer fifth-wheel trailers and shorter pop-up campers, are also planned. All products feature Livin Lite’s advanced materials and a two-year limited warranty.
“Licensing our name and design language to Livin Lite was an easy decision,” said Bentley. “Their use of advanced materials and innovation mindset makes them an excellent fit with the Ford brand. We are confident customers will be impressed with the unique, bold designs and comfortable features offered in the Ford RV line.”
The RVs were designed by Livin Lite in conjunction with Ford Truck Design. The two teams worked together over the past 15 months to create several attractive recreational vehicles that are unique to Ford. A striking front nose with an F-Series-inspired front window, F-Series-style wheels and unique Ford Blue Oval side graphics are among the key exterior features distinguishing the Ford offerings from competitors.
Interior styling cues from the F-Series Lariat, including unique leathers and stitched Ford Blue Ovals in seat cushions, ensure a stylish and tough impression.
Ford Truck campers will be available through certified Livin Lite dealers starting in early 2016, while the travel trailers and toy haulers will be available by the second quarter of 2016.
Friday, December 4, 2015
Confidence comes standard in the Ford Focus. We brought together the lovely and talented Zoë Kravitz and SZA to cruise around in a 2016 Focus. Watch as they discuss how they stay authentic. Produced by Pitchfork.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
With the simple turn of a knob, Pro Trailer Backup Assist on the 2016 Ford F-150 helps put your trailer exactly where you want it to go.
The brilliant engineers at Ford really pushed the envelope on this one: Pro Trailer Backup Assist on the 2016 Ford F-150. With a simple, intuitive turn of a knob on the dash, you can now back up your trailer with total accuracy. No guessing games. No do-overs. Just perfection, every time.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
The adventure continues as the Collins family nears their final destination of Portland, Maine. Along the way they meet up with world famous rock climber, Jimmy Chin. They also take time to reflect upon the journey and its influence on their future.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Friday, November 27, 2015
Ford Launching Technology-Packed New Escape; More Connectivity, Innovative Features Make Driving Safer, Easier
- New Ford Escape gives SUV customers even more of what they want – additional innovative features to make their daily drive safer and easier, greater connectivity, two new EcoBoost® engines and technology that saves fuel in heavy traffic
- Escape is first Ford vehicle in the world with SYNC® Connect – customers can unlock and lock their doors, start engine, even locate vehicle through smartphone app
- Driver-assist technologies including enhanced active park assist, lane-keeping system, and adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support make driving easier and safer
- Environmentally friendly Auto Start-Stop standard with Escape’s two new EcoBoost engines – a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll; technology shuts off engine in common stops so the vehicle uses no gas, improving fuel economy by 4 percent to 6 percent in stop-and-go traffic
The new Escape is the first Ford vehicle in the world with available SYNC® Connect, allowing users to unlock doors, check fuel level and even locate where a vehicle is parked.
To help drivers feel more confident behind the wheel, driver-assist technologies available for the new Escape include adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support, a lane-keeping system and enhanced active park assist. That’s all packed in a vehicle that has been redesigned from the inside out, including a driver and front passenger area upgraded with more storage space and mobile device charge ports.
“The compact SUV segment is the largest and most competitive in the United States, and the new Escape delivers even more of what our customers want – more technology they can really use to make their daily drive safer and easier,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas.
SYNC Connect keeps drivers in touch with remote vehicle access
Need to lock your new Escape from across town? There is an app for that.
With SYNC Connect, owners can remotely start their vehicle and schedule future starts, as well as lock and unlock their Escape using their smartphones. The technology provides vehicle location, as well as key vehicle information such as tire pressures, battery and fuel levels.
SYNC Connect, available with SYNC® 3 for the new Escape, comes with complimentary activation for five years. A user enables the system through a two-step authentication process designed to protect personal information. SYNC 3 features faster performance, conversational voice recognition, intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface.
Driver-assist technologies SUV drivers want
Other driver-assist features available help make the daily commute safer and easier for drivers of the new Ford Escape:
- ·Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support: Sensors detect when Escape is approaching a slow-moving vehicle, and adjust cruise control accordingly
- Enhanced active park assist: Provides steering assistance to park the vehicle in a parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spot, and pull out from tight parallel parking spots; driver controls brake, accelerator and shifter. Technology includes side park distance control
- Lane-keeping system: The system includes lane-keeping alert, which alerts drivers when they drift unintentionally from their lane, and lane-keeping aid, which provides steering assistance to guide an unintentionally drifting vehicle back into its lane
- Driver Alert System: Using data from the lane-keeping system, the Driver Alert System can detect signs of fatigued driving and provide a warning on the instrument cluster
Already available driver-assist features for the new Escape include:
- Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert: BLIS® can alert drivers when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot in a neighboring lane. An indicator light provides a warning in the side mirror corresponding to the side on which the vehicle is approaching
- Hill-start assist: The feature holds the vehicle stationary on a hill long enough for the driver to transition from brake to gas pedal
- Auto high-beam control: System automatically switches from high to low beams, and vice versa, depending on ambient lighting
- Hands-free, foot-activated liftgate: Opens liftgate with the simple kick of a key fob-carrying customer’s foot beneath rear bumper – perfect for those whose hands are loaded with gear
Two new EcoBoost engines with Auto Start-Stop
Escape is the first Ford vehicle to make Auto Start-Stop standard with either of two EcoBoost engines new to the model – a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll. The technology senses when the vehicle is sitting idle and shuts off the engine to conserve fuel, resulting in a 4 percent to 6 percent improvement in fuel economy in stop-and-go traffic. The engine restarts automatically – in less than half a second – when the driver releases the brake pedal.
“Auto Start-Stop is the equivalent of turning off the lights when you leave a room, or turning off a water faucet when you’re done washing dishes,” said Milton Wong, Escape chief engineer. “It’s a high-tech approach to more efficient driving.”
Escape SE and Titanium trim levels come standard with the new 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost, while the powerful new twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost is optional. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the line, with new paddle-shift technology available for Escape SE and Titanium.
The twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost delivers 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque, along with greater efficiency and improved noise, vibration and harshness performance. New pistons provide a higher, more efficient compression ratio, and a newly designed, integrated exhaust manifold is optimized for the twin-scroll turbo system.
The aluminum-block, twin-cam 1.5-liter EcoBoost with integrated exhaust manifold is projected to deliver horsepower and torque output comparable to the 1.6-liter – an expected 180 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque.
Along with the new EcoBoost offerings, the 2.5-liter i-VCT four-cylinder engine carries over as standard equipment for the Escape S series.
Three trim levels, with new Sport Appearance Package
Escape customers can continue to select from S, SE and Titanium trim levels, as well as a new Sport Appearance Package available for SE and Titanium.
Charcoal Black with subtle Deep Space black trim is available for Escape Titanium. Salerno leather seats feature a unique horizontal pattern. Titanium customers can also opt for Medium Stone seats to contrast with the black interior.
Escape will be offered in three new colors – Canyon Ridge, White Gold and Lightning Blue. Six new wheel designs are also available.
Built to lead in a growing segment
Overall SUV sales continue to trend higher – both in North America and around the world. SUVs now account for about one third of the U.S. auto industry, a number Ford projects will grow to 40 percent by 2020. In the United States, SUV sales are expected to exceed 5 million units in 2015 for the first time ever.
Small SUVs play an increasingly larger role, and Escape remains one of the most popular. Since its launch in 2000, more than 3 million units have been sold in the United States, including a record 306,212 Escape vehicles in North America in 2014. Ford expects Escape sales this year will exceed that figure.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
You hear about horsepower, but what most people really want is torque – a twisting force that drives your car forward at a whim. Check out how EcoBoost engines give it to you.
What would you say if we told you that you could own one of the most power-dense engines on the planet? The power you’re looking for is within your grasp, if you’re willing to give a small but mighty engine a go.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
- Building on SYNC®, Ford adds connected vehicle capability with new SYNC Connect, enabling drivers to access their vehicles using a smartphone app
- New Escape is the first Ford vehicle in the world with available
SYNC Connect, helping owners interact with their vehicle from anywhere;
technology debuts in the spring, allowing users to unlock doors, check
fuel level, even locate where a vehicle is parked
- SYNC Connect comes with complimentary five years of service
“New SYNC Connect provides convenience to Ford owners through an easy-to-use app,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. “The technology helps you seamlessly integrate your vehicle into your lifestyle. Get locked out? Cold outside? Forget where you parked? No problem. Just use your smartphone.”
SYNC Connect makes its global debut in the spring in the new Ford Escape, with other vehicles to follow. The app is connected to a built-in modem in the vehicle – allowing owners to remotely access features via their smartphones.
Vehicle features SYNC Connect users can remotely access are:
- Lock and unlock
- Remote start, including scheduling a future start: You need to
leave at 8 a.m., so you program a remote start for 7:50 a.m., then get
in to a running, warm car and drive away comfortably and on time
- Vehicle status, including fuel, oil and battery levels, along with tire pressure readings
- Vehicle location – where your car is parked is displayed on a map
Owners enable SYNC Connect through a two-step authentication process to protect personal information, confirming setup on the vehicle touch screen and on the mobile application.
SYNC Connect plays a key role in Ford Smart Mobility – Ford’s plan to deliver the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and big data. The technology provides the next step forward in enhanced vehicle connectivity, and the foundation for greater capabilities in the future.
SYNC Connect comes with complimentary service from Ford for five years.
Now in 12 million vehicles globally, Ford SYNC is the industry’s first system to widely and most affordably offer voice-activated technology to control smartphones. New-generation SYNC 3 features fast performance, conversational voice recognition, smartphone-like touch screen, and easy-to-understand graphical interface for a growing number of Ford vehicles in North America.
Monday, November 23, 2015
DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 19, 2015 – A lawyer, a nationally ranked skier, a designer who launched his career as a clay modeler, and an avid mountain biker; the minds behind Ford Motor Company’s multimodal journey experiments are proof that disparate interests and experiences can merge to create dynamic, revolutionary results.
Bill Coughlin, Bruce Williams, Bruce Southey, and Tom Thompson are the minds behind the electric bicycles unveiled by Ford earlier this year when the automaker announced it is working to change the way the world moves, once again. By introducing its Ford Smart Mobility plan, Ford unveiled its blueprint to take the world to a new level of connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and big data.
As Ford moves forward with its plan, eBikes continue to capture the imagination with their innovative designs and integration with Ford vehicles.
Coughlin, Williams, Thompson and Southey led development of the MoDe:Me, MoDe:Pro and MoDe:Flex eBikes with the help of a cadre of talented people. The bikes offer a new solution to the increasingly difficult urban commute, with battery-powered motors, the ability to fold or reconfigure for easy storage, and seamless connection with a rider’s smartphone thanks to MoDe:Link – an app that provides weather, congestion and traffic information among other features.
Coughlin, president and CEO, Ford Global Technologies, joined Ford 15 years ago. His career began with a stint as an electrical engineer. He went on to earn a law degree and practiced patent law for nearly 20 years. Coughlin served as chief intellectual property lawyer for DaimlerChrysler before joining Ford.
Coughlin created the challenge that resulted in development of the eBikes, and he has served as champion of the project. Coughlin lives and leads by two guiding principles:
“Exceed expectations,” he said. “The second is to bring out the best in everyone around you. If you follow these rules you can make a difference in the lives of your colleagues and, ultimately, the company and industry.”
Williams, Ford senior creative designer, was a nationally ranked skier who joined the company shortly after graduating from University of Vermont, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. But vehicle design was his dream, so Williams moved to Detroit and worked at Ford while earning a second degree in car design from Center for Creative Studies. Williams has worked on Ford F-series, including Raptor and Super Duty.
Southey, Ford innovation designer, began his career at a luxury automaker building clay models. Admittedly not a bike enthusiast, Southey focused on designing a bike for both seasoned and novice urban commuters. He created the no-sweat mode feature for MoDe:Link, an app developed to work with Apple Watch that activates the bike’s electronic pedal assist. The electric motor switches on when the watch app notices the rider’s heart rate has reached a certain level, helping ensure the commuter arrives at the final destination fresh and sweat-free.
Thompson began his career designing parts for missiles and rockets at British Aerospace Rocketry Division before joining Ford in 2001, where he is now engineering manager for powertrain projects.
He is noted for his work developing Ford EcoBoost® engines and Ford Fiesta.
An avid mountain biker, Thompson has years of experience repairing, designing and building bikes he could race down mountains. For Ford, he envisioned an electric-powered bike that could fold and store in a Ford Transit Connect for use by firms delivering goods and services. The result: MoDe:Pro.
“It’s a wonderful innovation project that we see huge potential for in major cities in which congestion is an obstacle, but where there is a demand for quicker deliveries,” said Thompson, who is already working on an improved second-generation version.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
The Minions and 'Minionwagon' Ford Transit Connect Wagon Kick Off Road Trip at Ford Championship Weekend in Florida
- "Minionwagon" Ford Transit Connect Wagon to serve as grand marshal vehicle at Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season; Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob, along with grand marshal Hoda Kotb, NBC News anchor and Today Show co-host, will accompany Minionwagon
- Minions and Minionwagon will greet fans at Homestead-Miami Speedway, then travel to Orlando, Atlanta and Philadelphia before heading to New York City
- Minionwagon is a one-of-a-kind Ford Transit Connect Wagon, which is designed to offer flexible seating, easy maneuverability and ample storage
The Minions, stars of the hit movie from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment, are going on tour to meet fans in a one-of-a-kind Ford Transit Connect Wagon, the “Minionwagon.”
The Minionwagon makes its debut this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway as part of Ford Championship Weekend, the final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. From there, the three Minions – Kevin, Stuart and Bob – will travel with the Minionwagon to several cities to celebrate release on Tuesday of the Minions movie on Digital HD; the movie comes out on Blu-ray/DVD on Dec. 8.
“Transit Connect Wagon – the #unminivan – is the perfect vehicle to accompany the Minions,” said Yaro Hetman, Ford brand manager for Transit, Transit Connect and E-Series. “Flexible seating, easy maneuverability and ample storage make it a great road trip van – for Minions and families!”
Ford Transit Connect Wagon offers class-exclusive seven-passenger seating, fold-flat second-row bucket seats and unsurpassed towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. The Minionwagon is a one-of-a-kind van based on a long-wheelbase 2016 Transit Connect Wagon Titanium with 2.5-liter Duratec® I-4 engine.
The Minionwagon and the Minions will greet fans at the Ford EcoBoost 400, including in the Minions Kids Zone at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday and Saturday, and participate in pre-race ceremonies.
Then, the Minionwagon will share the spotlight as grand marshal vehicle with NBC News anchor and Today Show co-host Hoda Kotb on Sunday, when she serves as grand marshal of the Ford EcoBoost 400.
Following the race festivities, Kevin, Stuart, Bob and their Minionwagon will greet fans at Universal Orlando® Resort, then in Atlanta and Philadelphia ahead of their final destination – New York City.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Unique Ford Suit Helps Teach Young People the Dangerous Effects of Driving Under the Influence of Illegal Drugs
- Ford’s new “Drugged Driving Suit” is designed to show drivers the dangers of driving under the influence of illegal drugs such as cannabis, cocaine and heroin
- According to NHTSA, approximately 18 percent of all motor vehicle driver deaths involve drugs other than alcohol, such as marijuana and cocaine
- The Drugged Driving Suit will be incorporated into Ford Driving Skills for Life, the award-winning novice driver education program that has provided free training to more than half a million people globally
Ford developed the suit together with scientists from the respected Meyer-Hentschel Institute in Germany to simulate some of the effects of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and MDMA (commonly known as Ecstasy); including slower reaction time, distorted vision, hand tremors and poor coordination.
The new Drugged Driving Suit will be incorporated into Ford Driving Skills for Life, the award-winning young driver program that has provided training to more than 500,000 people around the world through hands-on and online tuition since its inception 11 years ago.
“Driving after taking illegal drugs can have potentially fatal consequences for the driver, their passengers, and other road users,” said James Graham, global program manager for Ford Driving Skills for Life. “We have already seen first-hand the eye-opening effect that our Drunk Driving Suit has had on those who wear it, and are confident that our new Drugged Driving Suit will have a similar impact.”
Recent national data shows drugged driving on the rise. According to the most recent findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 18 percent of all motor vehicle driver deaths involve drugs other than alcohol, such as marijuana and cocaine.* A NHTSA roadside survey also found that 22 percent of drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription or over-the-counter drugs.**
Like the Drunk Driving Suit that Ford incorporated into the Driving Skills for Life program last year, the new Drugged Driving suit simulates the effects of reduced mobility, vision and coordination with padding and ankle weights, goggles and headphones.
“We know that some drugs can cause trembling hands, so we incorporated a device into the suit that creates just such a tremor,” said Gundolf Meyer-Hentschel, CEO of the Meyer-Hentschel Institute. “Drug users sometimes see flashing lights in their peripheral field, an effect recreated by our goggles, while imaginary sounds are generated by the headphones. Additionally, the goggles distort perception, and produce colorful visual sensations – a side effect of LSD use.”
According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 9.9 million people 12 and older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs. Similarly, a meta-analysis of multiple studies from the National Institute of Health has shown that the risk of being involved in an accident roughly doubles after marijuana use.***
Ford Driving Skills for Life was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly licensed teens and parents the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what they learn in standard driver education programs. The basic premise behind Ford Driving Skills for Life is to provide a step in the learning process, providing new skills and information not currently shared with newly licensed drivers in basic driver education courses. By the end of 2015, the international program will be offered in 30 countries and a hands-on driving clinic conducted in all 50 states in the United States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The program is expected to have provided behind-the-wheel training to more than 150,000 drivers globally by the end of this year.
Further details about the Ford DSFL program is available online at www.DrivingSkillsForLife.com, including training dates and venues, plus instructions about enrolling in the Ford DSFL Online training academy.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Fuel Efficiency, Alternative Fuels and Sustainability Earn Ford F-150 2016 Green Truck of the Year Award
SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 19, 2015 – Green Car Journal today named the Ford F-150 its 2016 Green Truck of the Year™ at the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show.
The 2016 Ford F-150 – the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever – includes the highest EPA-estimated highway fuel economy rating of any full-size gasoline pickup on the market, at 26 mpg. A segment-exclusive compressed natural gas/propane gaseous fuel prep package is available for 5.0-liter V8-equipped F-150 – helping reduce operating costs and tailpipe CO2 emissions.
“The 2016 Ford F-150 is a great example of the environmental leadership that can, and should, be accomplished in the immensely popular pickup field,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher, Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com. “Milestone lightweighting through the extensive use of aluminum and high-strength steel, the availability of a powerful and efficient 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, and a segment-exclusive gaseous fuel prep option that enables the F-150 to run on clean-burning compressed natural gas or propane are all important contributions that raise the bar in environmental performance.”
Ford F-150 uses sustainable materials to help reduce its environmental footprint. REPREVE fiber, made from recycled plastic bottles, is available for F-150’s cloth seats. By using this recycled material, Ford will divert more than 5 million plastic bottles from landfills this year.
Other eco-conscious materials employed include rice hulls to reinforce plastic used in an electrical harness, fuel lines made from castor bean oil, seats made of soybeans and post-industrial recycled cotton – one 2015 F-150 uses shoddy that includes blue jean material, bath towels and/or T-shirt material.
“We designed Ford F-150 to be a game changer,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “Many have recognized F-150 as the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever, but this award is proof it’s also a fuel-efficient, environmentally responsible option.”
Ford F-150, its groundbreaking technology and the engineering team behind it have won the following awards and accolades:
- 2015 North American Truck/Utility of the Year
- 2015 Motor Trend Truck Trend Pickup Truck of the Year
- Automobile Journalists Association of Canada Pickup Truck of the Year
- Automobile Journalists Association of Canada Utility Vehicle of the Year
- Detroit News 2015 Vehicle of the Year
- 2015 and 2016 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Truck
- 2015 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Overall
- Kelley Blue Book 10 Best Road Trip Cars of 2015
- 2015 Popular Science Automotive Grand Award Winner Best of What’s New
- 2015 MotorWeek Best Pickup Truck
- 2015 Detroit Free Press Truck of the Year
- 2015 New England Motor Press Association Yankee Cup
- AutoGuide 2015 Reader’s Choice Truck of the Year
- New Car Test Drive 2015 Truck of the Year
- 2015 Detroit News Reader’s Choice NAIAS Awards Most Innovative
- Automotive Science Group 2015 Best All-Around Performance Award Winner, Best Full-Size Truck of 2015, Smallest Carbon Footprint
- Urban Wheel Award for Urban Truck of the Year
- Green Car Technology Award™
- Edmunds.com 2015 Most Popular Awards – large truck category
- Detroit Free Press Automotive Leadership Award – engineering and technology category
- Greater Atlanta Automobile Media Association Best Pickup/SUV
- 2015 New England Motor Press Association Official Winter Vehicle of New England
- AAA Green Car Guide Award – pickup truck category (F-150 SuperCab Lariat)
- TFLtruck 2015 TFL Gold Hitch Award – half-ton/light-duty category (2.7-liter V6)
- AutoPacific 2015 Vehicle Satisfaction Award – light-duty pickup category (second highest owner score ever and highest truck rating ever)
- AutoPacific 2015 Best in Class Ideal Vehicle – overall winner
- Altair and Center for Automotive Research Altair Enlighten Award
- J.D. Power and Associates J.D. Power APEAL – large light-duty pickup category
- Consumer Electronics Show 2016 Innovation Award – Best of Innovation honoree in vehicle intelligence category for Pro Trailer Backup Assist™
- Vicentric 2015 Best Certified Pre-Owned Value in America™ – full-size half-ton pickup category
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
The new Escape gives SUV customers even more of what they want – more smart features to make their daily drive safer and easier, greater connectivity, two new EcoBoost® engines and Auto Start-Stop Technology that saves fuel in heavy traffic.
It's also the first Ford with SYNC® Connect – customers can unlock and lock their doors, start the engine, even locate vehicle through a smartphone app.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Charge 'Er Up: Ford Offers Three Years' Complimentary Charging to C-MAX Energi Customers with EV 1-2-3 Charge, Powered by EVgo
- Ford to offer complimentary 240-volt charging to customers in California and Maryland who purchase or lease a 2016 Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-In Hybrid. EV 1-2-3 Charge card will provide drivers with unlimited four-hour sessions of charging at more than 500 participating EVgo and partner public chargers across the nation for three years
- With 240-volt charging, Ford C-MAX Energi can be fully charged in approximately 2.5 hours, versus the seven hours required from a standard 110-volt outlet
- Ford is the first automaker to integrate its MyFord® Mobile app with its in-car communications and entertainment system – SYNC® 3 – to help make it easy for customers to find and locate participating charge stations
EV 1-2-3 Charge will provide unlimited, complimentary charging sessions of four hours each at more than 500 EVgo and partner public stations across the nation. C-MAX Energi is capable of being fully charged in approximately 2.5 hours with the 240-volt charging stations.
“EV 1-2-3 Charge is a great way for customers to get the most out of their C-MAX Energi,” said Stephanie Janczak, Ford manager, electrification and infrastructure. “We’re coupling a fun, versatile, environmentally conscious car with a complimentary charge program that is easy to use and can reduce cost of ownership. It’s a win-win.”
Beginning in December, Ford will make it easy for customers to find these charge stations with MyFord® Mobile, which will identify participating stations with a pink-colored icon. The MyFord Mobile app and website are integrated with SYNC® 3 – the vehicle’s in-car communications and entertainment system.
MyFord Mobile and myfordmobile.com allow plug-in electric vehicle owners to have a seamless connected car experience, giving them the ability to easily lock and unlock their vehicle, find where they parked, access charge status, mileage and driving efficiency, as well as schedule charge times – all with the touch of a finger. The app may be downloaded to an iPhone or Android phone and to Apple or Android Wear smart watches.
Eligible customers in California and Maryland purchasing or leasing a 2016 Ford C-MAX Energi between Oct. 1, 2015 and Oct. 1, 2016 will receive an EV 1-2-3 Charge registration packet in the mail. Once the EV 1-2-3 Charge card is activated, customers will be able to access EVgo and partner charge stations with the convenience of one card. EVgo has installed charging stations at places where people tend to go, including popular shopping and dining locations that are conveniently located and easy to find.
For more information or to locate participating charge stations, visit ev123Charge.com or myfordmobile.com.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Best Seats in the House Might Actually Be in the Car, Thanks to Ford's Innovative Front Seat Architecture
- Ford’s innovative front seat architecture allows for easier
implementation of features that provide maximum vehicle comfort – such
as multi-adjusting, massage, and heating and cooling functionality
- Nearly 90 percent of Ford vehicles in North America use the
common front seat architecture – from the compact Focus to the popular
full-size F-150 pickup
- Designed in-house at Ford, common seat structure was introduced
in North America with 2013 Escape and Fusion; most recent application
can be seen in 2016 Explorer, with Platinum edition featuring 10-way
Thanks to an innovative design, the seats are multi-adjustable, with features such as thigh extensions and lumbar support. Helping to reduce muscle fatigue and promoting blood flow on longer journeys, the seats can provide a subtle massage for thighs and lower back.
Further adding to comfort, the seats can warm or cool the driver and front seat passenger.
Those and many other comfort features are in large part attributable to Ford’s global front seat architecture – which debuted on the 2013 Escape and Fusion – and has since migrated to most of the company’s lineup in North America. The innovation serves as the basis for Ford’s best-in-class ranking for overall front seat comfort among full-line manufacturers in North America.
“There was skepticism as to whether building a seat structure to fit all vehicle sizes could be done,” said Johnathan Line, Ford global advanced seats innovation supervisor and technical expert. “The trick was to turn our focus away from the vehicles, and concentrate instead on our customers.”
The science behind front seat comfort
In the design and engineering phase, the seat team focused on items such as “H-points” and “hip-to-heel” dimensions.
These ratios represent the science that goes into creating in-vehicle comfort. Seats are designed to better cradle passengers at the hip and to prevent sliding while driving. Side bolsters and seat cushions allow more freedom of movement so drivers feel less confined.
The Ford seat team refers to the surfaces passengers touch and feel as ‘top hats’ – leather or cloth seat covers atop foam padding. But beneath each top hat is a seat skeleton that serves as the basis for Ford’s steadily climbing rankings for comfort.
Taking cues from the office furniture and first-class air travel industries, the Ford front seat architecture is ergonomically designed to ensure each seat cradles an occupant comfortably, snug in certain places with freedom to move in others. Dan Ferretti, Ford global seats senior technical leader, highlights the commonalities and differences between seats various environments.
“Our seats are designed to hold people where they want to be held, but without being restricting,” Ferretti said. “For example, the side bolsters are tapered, which allows a driver to have better movement of their arms and legs.”
Plug-and-play design sets Ford seats apart
At the heart of the structure is an innovative two-piece design that consists of cushion and back frame modules – both scalable parts. These Ford-engineered parts are joined with four purchased fasteners at the back-to-cushion interfaces. They come together in a plug-and-play fashion to support more than 30 seat configurations showcasing 20-plus comfort and convenience features, including:
- Inflatable lumbar, bolster and massage bladders
- Two-way adjustable lumbar support
- Heating and cooling
- Upper back tilt
- Cushion extensions
- Integrated cushion suspension
- Upper back bolsters
- Independent thigh supports
“The plug-and-play design is really what sets this system apart,” Ferretti said. “It enables the democratization of technology, so we’re able to make more features available to more people.”
The seat structure is mounted using rails of varying height, which makes it best suited to a vehicle’s interior environment. A variety of floor-mounting pieces allows for innovative under-seat storage solutions.
Along with the comfort benefit, the high-strength steel frame and laser welding brings weight savings too, meaning improved fuel efficiency for customers. It eliminates more than 50 components, and weighs about 30 percent less than previous seat structures.
Since the debut of the common seat architecture, the number of seat systems in Ford vehicles in North America has gone from 26 to four. The structure is now used on nearly 90 percent of the company’s vehicles in North America, where by 2016 Ford expects it to be on 4 million vehicles. It is gradually rolling out globally.
The most recent application can be seen on the new 2016 Ford Explorer – enabling 10-way seat adjustability, massage, and heating and cooling functionality for customers of the Platinum edition.