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.