Ford has made a great comeback since the bailout. All of the big American car manufacturing plants have had to reevaluate their designs and Ford has hit the mark with their highly rated Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion. Ford is looking to take over when it comes to convenience and tech in the low to mid-priced midsize compact sedan and hatchback. By 2020, Ford will invest a total of $4.5 billion and add 13 new electrified vehicles after learning that 30-40 year olds were most interested in electric cars.
When it comes to innovation, Ford is giving Tesla a run for its money at a price most people can afford.
Connectivity and Urbanization:
Many millennials tend to live in cities and find peer 2 peer car sharing appealing. Most millennials want to rent other’s new vehicles, due to concerns on insurance, damage, parking, and cleanliness. Flexible use and ownership and multimodal mobility solution such as Go! a one-way car sharing pilot with guaranteed parking in London gives millenials who tend to live in cities, have roommates, or less flexible income for a newer car an option for driving. This new Ford program in the U.S. allows drivers the option to rent out their cars to other drivers.
Amazon and Ford are teaming up with Alexa, Echo’s cloud-based voice service, as an integration of innovation leaders. Owners will be able to connect with Amazon Echo directly, allowing drivers to interact with their cars from the comfort of their home or office. The demo included using voice command with Alexa to start their car and open their garage door. You can also receive stats from your car, great for when your battery needs charging on your electric vehicle.
More than 15 million Sync-equipped vehicles will be on the road globally by 2020. The new Ford Escape will be the first to feature CarPlay and Android Auto, and drivers will also be able to add 4G LTE connectivity to Sync 3 Connect. Ford plans on opening SmartDeviceLink to open source community in order to attract developers.
Connectivity and Data and Analytics:
DJI a drone manufacturer and Ford are teaming up to connect a cars and drones to improve response time for people afflicted by natural disasters. Launching the drone from the bed of an F-150 to survey the area in a fire, flood, or other disasters the drone and truck will be a vital means of air and ground communication. The aim is to help assist the UN without endangering more lives like pilots in helicopters.
The TechStars Mobility Program in Detroit is offering 122 startups up to $12K on the sole premise to develop mobility connectivity and analytics software.
Ford’s been working on autonomy for over a decade and you can see that through the millions of Ford cars equipped with semi-autonomous driver aid features. 30 autonomous Ford Fusions will be the largest fleet driving in several locations including MIT University of Michigan, RWTH AACHEN University, and Stanford University. This hybrid third generation fleet will be equipped with the latest generation of “LiDAR,” or light and radar sensors. A solid state puck, this sensor will help with real-time 3D mapping and is about the size of 2-3 hockey pucks stacked. This “ultra puck” fits in the car’s side view mirrors and extends the range of the LiDAR sensing by over 200m when compared to the second generation. Ford’s autonomous pilot program is moving to level 4 autonomy, which is full autonomy in defined circumstances and is the next step to level 5, which is full on driver-less autonomy.