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.
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.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Can you imagine an engine turbine that can spin faster than a jet liner’s at your beck and call? No need to imagine it. We’ve made it a reality.
With 248,000 RPM, a 1.0L EcoBoost engine compressor turbine can exceed turbine engine revolutions on jet liners without the bulk or the weight. We don’t call EcoBoosts small but mighty just because!
Saturday, November 14, 2015
DEARNBORN, Mich., Nov. 13, 2015 – U.S. News & World Report has named Ford its Best Truck Brand for 2016. F-Series has been the top-selling truck in the United States for 38 consecutive years and the best-selling vehicle for 33 consecutive years.
F-Series continues to innovate, thanks to breakthrough towing technology, new Special Edition Appearance Packages, SYNC® 3 in-vehicle connectivity and alternative fuel capability. All-new, segment-first Pro Trailer Backup Assist™ available for the 2016 F-150 makes it easier for drivers, no matter their skill level, to back a trailer up.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Ford First Automaker to Test Autonomous Vehicle at Mcity, University of Michigan’s Simulated Urban Environment
- Ford is the first automaker to test an autonomous vehicle at
Mcity, part of the University of Michigan, and the world’s first
full-scale simulated real-world urban environment designed to test
connected and automated vehicles in an effort to accelerate development
- Ford has been testing autonomous vehicles for more than 10 years,
and offers a broad portfolio of available semi-autonomous technologies
on vehicles globally – designed to make customers’ daily drives more
- Ford expanding testing of its Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research
Vehicle, putting cameras, radar, LiDAR sensors and real-time 3D mapping
technology through the paces on diversity of roads and realistic
neighborhoods of Mcity
- Autonomous vehicles are a key part of Ford Smart Mobility – the
company’s plan to deliver the next level in connectivity, mobility,
autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and big data, while making
millions of people’s lives better
“Testing Ford’s autonomous vehicle fleet at Mcity provides another challenging, yet safe, urban environment to repeatedly check and hone these new technologies,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “This is an important step in making millions of people’s lives better and improving their mobility.”
Ford has been testing autonomous vehicles for more than 10 years and is now expanding testing on the diversity of roads and realistic neighborhoods of Mcity near the North Campus Research Complex to accelerate research of advanced sensing technologies.
Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle merges today’s driver-assist technologies, such as front-facing cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors, and adds four LiDAR sensors to generate a real-time 3D map of the vehicle’s surrounding environment – essential for dynamic performance.
Real-world testing in a whole new way
Mcity opened in July. The full-scale urban environment provides real-world road scenarios – such as running a red light – that can’t be replicated on public roads. Click here to see the Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle testing at Mcity.
ANIMATED GIF: Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle
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There are street lights, crosswalks, lane delineators, curb cuts, bike lanes, trees, hydrants, sidewalks, signs, traffic control devices – even construction barriers. Here, Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle is tested over a range of surfaces – concrete, asphalt, simulated brick and dirt – and maneuvers two-, three- and four-lane roads, as well as ramps, roundabouts and tunnels.
“The goal of Mcity is that we get a scaling factor. Every mile driven there can represent 10, 100 or 1,000 miles of on-road driving in terms of our ability to pack in the occurrences of difficult events,” said Ryan Eustice, University of Michigan associate professor and co-investigator in Ford’s research collaboration with the university, one of two faculty working on this project with Ford.
Ford’s track record of technology leadership
Ford revealed its Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle with University of Michigan and State Farm Insurance in 2013 in an effort to advance sensing systems so these technologies could be integrated into Ford’s next-generation vehicles. Earlier this year, Ford announced it moved its research efforts in autonomous vehicle technology to the next step in development, to the advanced engineering phase. The team is working to make sensing and computing technologies feasible for production while continuing to test and refine algorithms.
Ford offers a full portfolio of semi-autonomous technology and the most available driver-assist features in four vehicle segments in the United States – large light-duty pickups with F-150, midsize SUVs with Edge and Explorer, midsize cars with Fusion and large cars with Taurus.
Along with testing at Mcity and on public roads, Ford’s autonomous fleet has been put through the paces at the company’s vehicle development facilities in Dearborn and Romeo, Michigan.
“We are pleased to welcome Ford as the first automaker to use Mcity to test autonomous vehicles,” said Peter Sweatman, director, Mobility Transformation Center. “Mcity offers a unique, real-world test environment that will help Ford accelerate development of its autonomous technology while building on its existing research collaboration with University of Michigan.”
Changing the way the world moves: Ford Smart Mobility
Autonomous vehicles are one element of Ford Smart Mobility, Ford’s plan to deliver the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and big data.
With Ford Smart Mobility, the company is once again changing the way the world moves to make people’s lives better – using innovation and advanced technology across its business to address the world’s biggest transportation challenges. This is what Henry Ford did 112 years ago.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Utility Task Vehicles are great to have in the wild. And the available, stowable loading ramps in the Ford F-150 enable you to load a UTV right into the bed.
Ace bowhunter Fred Eichler gets deep into the field with go-anywhere utility task vehicles. With the help of the stowable loading ramps in the Ford F-150, Fred can easily load his UTV right up into the bed. Another amazing tool in the world’s only high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body pickup.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 10, 2015 – Pro Trailer Backup Assist™ on the 2016 Ford F-150 is named the top CES® 2016 Best of Innovation Awards Honoree in the Vehicle Intelligence category by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) ™, formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) ®.
Pro Trailer Backup Assist™ makes the challenge of backing up a trailer as easy as turning a knob.
“We’re honored to be named Best of Innovation among such a strong field of competitors,” said Raj Nair, Ford Group Vice President Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer. “Pro Trailer Backup Assist is another example of Ford leveraging new technology to make every-day driving tasks easier.”
The CES Innovations Awards are judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products across 27 product categories.
Entries are evaluated on their engineering, aesthetic and design qualities, intended use/function and user value, how the design and innovation of the product directly compares to other products in the marketplace and unique/novel features present. Products chosen as CES Best of Innovation Honorees reflect innovative design and engineering in some of the most cutting edge tech products and services coming to market.
CES 2016 Innovation Honoree products are featured on CESweb.org/Innovation.
For more information about the CES 2016 Innovation Awards, please visit: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151110006838/en/CES-Announces-Innovation-Awards-Honorees
Monday, November 9, 2015
Ford Engineer Paul Seredinski takes us on a tour behind the magic curtain to unveil the magic of EcoBoost engine technology.
EcoBoost engines began in the lab at Ford, originally planned as part of the ‘new’ Ford Performance line-up. Once proven out the engine tech was implemented throughout our vehicle line-up. So, how would having an EcoBoost engine affect your milk runs? It’s all about power, on demand…
Sunday, November 8, 2015
How do you make a cross-country road trip even more challenging? Do it with two kids under 10.
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Innovative new fishing line technology helps you reel in the biggest catch. And the Ford F-150 allows you to tow and haul more than any other full-size pickup.
Expert fisherman Conway Bowman relies on state-of-the-art fishing line – so he’ll be ready for any challenge at the other end. On land? Same story. Conway counts on the class-leading towing and hauling of the high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body Ford F-150.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to drive it. Here are 10 reasons why the forward-thinking Ford F-150 continues to leave all other trucks in the dust.
Best payload, most towing and highest gas mileage in its class? The Ford F-150’s got it. Watch for more.
Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR. Payload: with available 5.0LV8, 4x2. Towing: with available 2.7L EcoBoost® V6. Mileage: with available 2.7L EcoBoost® V6, 4x2. EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 19 city/26 hwy/22 combined mpg. Actual mileage will vary.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
The 2016 Ford Escape has everything you need to leave your same-ol’ weekend behind. The available Intelligent 4WD opens up a whole new world of possibilities. It lets you go new places and do new things, no matter the terrain. Plus you get the convenience of SYNC® voice-activated technology and an available hands-free, foot-activated liftgate. And that’s not all. You also have the power and fuel efficiency of the available 240 hp. 2.0L EcoBoost® engine with an EPA-estimated 30/hwy mpg.*
*EPA-Estimated rating of 22 city/30 hwy/25 combined MPG, Escape FWD with available 2.0L EcoBoost engine. EPA-Estimated rating of 21 city/28 hwy/23 combined MPG, Escape 4WD with available 2.0L EcoBoost engine Actual mileage will vary.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
- Ford researchers will study the gecko’s sticky toe pads for clues to improve adhesives and increase the recyclability of auto parts
- Biomimicry is an innovative approach that looks to nature for sustainable solutions to modern-day challenges; biomimetic innovations could transform the interior design of Ford vehicles
- Ford Motor Company recently hosted a biomimicry workshop at its Dearborn campus with participation from Procter & Gamble and The Biomimicry Institute
For years, Ford researchers have considered ways to make auto manufacturing more sustainable. A key challenge is glue used to adhere foams to plastics and metals can make disassembling parts for recycling nearly impossible.
Enter the gecko.
The lizard’s toe pads allow it to stick to most surfaces without liquids or surface tension. The reptile can then easily release itself, leaving no residue. Consider, too, that a typical mature gecko weighing 2.5 ounces is capable of supporting 293 pounds.
The gecko could inspire a host of adhesive innovations for global applications at Ford, said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader for plastics and sustainability research.
“Solving this problem could provide cost savings and certainly an environmental savings,” said Mielewski. “It means we could increase the recycling of more foam and plastics, and further reduce our environmental footprint.”
Buoyed by the biomimetic method, Ford recently hosted a forum at its Dearborn campus with participation from Procter & Gamble and The Biomimicry Institute, a nonprofit committed to promoting the innovative approach of looking to nature for sustainable solutions to modern-day challenges. Nearly 200 researchers and designers took part in the day-long session to learn about biomimicry and how to apply it to their work.
“We are excited for the opportunity to participate, together with Ford – with whom we have a history of collaboration – in The Biomimicry Institute workshop,” said Lee Ellen Drechsler, director for corporate connect and development, The Procter and Gamble Company. “We have an interest within Procter & Gamble for using biomimicry as a way to broaden our approach to solving tough research challenges.”
The biomimetic approach is not new. The Bullet Train in Shinkansen, Japan was inspired by the kingfisher. Velcro took its cues from a burr. And improved medical needles were developed based on the mosquito. Interest in the approach has increased in the last decade as awareness of climate change and environmental challenges is heightened, said Gretchen Hooker, project manager for design challenges at The Biomimicry Institute.
Founded in 2006, the group works to empower people to create sustainable products and services using biomimicry. In addition to mobilizing educators and regional practitioners through the Biomimicry Global Network, the organization provides a platform to learn and practice biomimicry through multiple design challenges. These include open innovation, academic-corporate partnerships and corporate-employee challenges where employees get hands-on training while developing new solutions to issues corporations face. AskNature.org, the organization’s online database of biological solutions, offers inspiration to those looking to find answers in biomimicry.
“Ford and P&G are the first companies to take part in these new corporate-employee challenges,” said Hooker.
Beyond recycling, the Ford design teams have worked for nearly a decade to find nature-inspired technologies, with recent successes in yarn production for seating materials and headliners.
Ford is the only automaker to use Unifi’s high-performance REPREVE fiber, made from 100 percent recycled materials including plastic bottles, in its vehicles. Ford employs REPREVE in five of its vehicles – the new F-150, Explorer, Edge, Focus Electric and Fusion – making it a globally used material. The use of REPREVE represents Ford’s commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle, part of the automaker’s global sustainability strategy to lessen its environmental footprint.
Ford designers are now looking to expand upon that commitment, turning to nature to further improve the sustainable materials in vehicle fabrics. The gecko may also inspire fabric technologies that could transform the cabin of Ford vehicles, researchers said.
“As we look to further our commitment to reducing our environmental footprint, taking a holistic, biomimetic approach makes sense because nature has efficiencies in design and uses minimal resources,” said Carol Kordich, global sustainable fabric strategies and development, Ford. “Nature is the ultimate guide.”
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
- Ford Transit – America’s best-selling commercial van and the vehicle with the most configurations in its class – offers 58 vehicle configurations with the introduction of a dual sliding door option for 2016
- Owners can customize their Transit vehicles with the help of upfitters, including 12 located within 30 miles of Kansas City Assembly Plant, where Transit is built
- Ford built more than 100,000 Transit vehicles in North America for the 2015 model year, with Transit leading the company to post its best July commercial van sales in 15 years
These 11 specialty vans – tricked out for specialized jobs ranging from transporting art to rescuing puppies and teaching kids to surf – capitalize on the flexibility of Transit, which features the most configurations in its class.
1. Windy City Limousine
Chicago-based Windy City Limousine’s Ford Transit was converted by Battisti Customs of Elkhart, Indiana, to carry 13 passengers in luxury and style – with a wood floor, black leather couch-style seating and two flat-screen televisions.
2. So-Gnar’s Creative Hub
This shred-ready Ford Transit is modified with a custom boot dryer, snowboard rack, tuning bench and portable DJ booth to make snowboarding even more fun for its riders. “It’s an absolute dream of a creative hub that we can do anything out of,” says So-Gnar CEO Pat Milbery. Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDgpuL1FKV8
3. Prof. ZL Feng’s Art Transporter
The first Ford Transit buyer in the United States, ZL Feng, is an art professor and skilled artist who uses his van to transport his art to museums, galleries, art shows and art buyers’ homes.
4. The Grateful Grail Coffee Shop
The Grateful Grail (@gratefulgrail) mobile coffee shop cruises around Baltimore, Maryland, including local music festivals and events. Brothers and Grateful Grail owners Brian and David Seward customized the van themselves, and talented local artists Brian O'Rourke and Jae Meca painted this electrifying Ford Transit.
5. Surfers Healing’s Woody Van
Champion surfer Izzy Paskowitz and his Surfers Healing team use a Ford Transit to transport surfboards and life jackets as they introduce kids with autism to surfing. Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8WlKYTbNyw
6. Park Place Caterers’ Mobile Kitchen
This jumbo Ford Transit van – customized with a liftgate and inverter to power a refrigerator and hotbox – delivers deliciousness across the Metro Detroit area.
7. Shultz’s Guest House’s Dog Rescue Van
Shultz’s Guest House uses its Ford Transit to transport orphaned dogs – sometimes from several states away – to a private 200-acre farm in Dedham, Massachusetts, where they are safe from being euthanized until permanent homes are found for them.
8. The Spread Mobile Deli
This Ford Transit is a mobile deli – serving breakfast and lunch sandwiches on wraps and fresh-baked bagels in and around Northeast Ohio.
9. Wag’n Tails’ Pet Grooming Studio
Wag’n Tails Mobile Conversions in Granger, Indiana, converts Ford Transit vans into fully self-contained mobile pet grooming studios, complete with full-size tubs, hydro-massage shampoo systems, grooming tables, blow dryers, vacuums and fridges.
10. Forrest Baker’s Mobility Van
Eighty-six-year-old Forrest Baker explores the Pacific Northwest with the help of his specially modified Ford Transit, which includes a lift for his off-road wheelchair, high-visibility lights and bull guard. “Without a doubt, this is the finest purpose-built vehicle I have ever had the pleasure of owning,” Baker wrote to his dealership of more than 45 years, Wendle Ford in Spokane, Washington.
11. Red Cross Emergency Response
Five new Ford Transit vans are in use as Red Cross emergency response and life-saving blood transport vehicles in Detroit; Lexington, Kentucky; Louisville, Kentucky; Cleveland, Ohio; and Portland, Oregon.
Monday, November 2, 2015
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Privacy has become a balancing act. There is a recognizable trade-off between the information consumers are willing to share about themselves and the benefits they receive in exchange.
Yet companies can never stop asking, “How far is too far?” or respecting the distinctions between public, personal and private domains, and the need for consumer choice among them.
When those boundaries are crossed or when trade-offs aren’t realized, there is a consumer backlash that companies must face and reconcile.