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Ford Wants to Build Networks for Cities

Ford Wants to Build Networks for Cities

Connectivity is the key to taking back the streets

A lot of ambitious ideas were thrown around at the Consumer Electronics Show, most interesting of all was Ford’s "City of Tomorrow" vision. CEO Jim Hackett went to CES to unveil the automaker’s plan to offer cities networks and technology to smooth the flow of goods and improve the quality of lives among its people. Part of that plan includes building a “transportation mobility cloud” that would allow cities to use a shared platform to manage autonomous vehicles and connect people to different types of transportation.

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Ford CEO Jim Hackett Wants To “Take Back The Streets”

Ford CEO Jim Hackett Wants To “Take Back The Streets”

Planning for the future is gonna take some fancy tech

As urban centers become more and more densely populated, our current transportation grid is failing to keep pace. In a recent post to Medium, Ford Motor Company’s head honcho talks about what the Blue Oval is doing to sort out the next generation of A-to-B solutions, focusing primarily on using technology to make them more people friendly in an effort to “take back the streets.”

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Ford to Show up at CES and NAIAS with an Autonomous Surprise

Ford to Show up at CES and NAIAS with an Autonomous Surprise

Ford moves one step closer to bringing autonomous cars to the masses

Ford introduced its Fusion Hybrid Autonomous vehicles just a few years ago, and just last year – in December of 2015 – Ford finally obtained the permit to test its self-driving fleet on public roads in California starting in 2016. As we’re all aware, technology has a habit of evolving quickly, leaving technology from even a year ago somewhat outdated by comparison. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Ford has been busy upgrading its autonomous fleet and has finally announced what we can expect with its next-gen Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle shows up at CES and the Detroit Auto Show.

With the Fusion getting a facelift for the 2017 model year, the new autonomous development fleet will also get all the little nips and tucks. But, what’s more important is the updated autonomous technology that has been integrated into this generation of test vehicles. The new fleet will use the same Autonomous vehicle platform but gets a significant increase in processing power to go with some new computer hardware. Ford didn’t divulge how in-depth the aforementioned upgrades are, but the electrical controls are closer to being production ready while it has also made adjustments to sensor technology with sensors placed in optimal locations. As you’ll see in the comparison images below, these come in the form of roof sensors that look like luggage racks and the placement of new LIDAR sensors on the A-pillars – a feature that gives the system a wider range of view.

Ford claims that the new-gen vehicle evolves the two primary elements of an autonomous vehicle – the platform itself (sensors, cameras, hardware, etc.) and the virtual driver system. Ford’s hoping to have fully autonomous vehicles on the market sometime after the turn of the decade, and this new-gen autonomous Fusion is the next step in meeting that goal.

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Ford Upgrades SYNC With Amazon Echo And Alexa, Wink

Ford Upgrades SYNC With Amazon Echo And Alexa, Wink

Days after announcing the introduction of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into its new SYNC 3 infotainment and connectivity system, Ford is doubling up on its partnerships by announcing a new collaboration with Amazon, one of America’s leading technology companies. Ford CEO Mark Fields made the announcement at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.

As part of its new tie-up with Amazon, Ford’s third-generation SYNC system will connect with Amazon’s Echo voice-recognition system, allowing homeowners to link with cloud-based voice service Alexa. The interaction with Alexa comes with numerous remote actions, including the ability to start their cars, evaluate their electric range, and provide vehicle location, complete with the street name, the mileage, and driving time away from home.

Alexa also has the ability to link Internet-enabled smart devices that should be of great use to homeowners. Even when an owner isn’t home, he can ask Alexa to remotely operate the lights, automatic garage doors, and home security systems.

In addition to its new partnership with Amazon, Ford is also set to begin its collaboration with smart home platform Wink to bring together a number of smart home devices from different companies and put them under one roof. SYNC’s compatibility with the Wink system makes it easier for homeowners to remotely control their smart home devices from the confines of their own car. This partnerships works similarly to Amazon Echo, but instead of Alexa doing the chores, the driver can remotely operate the lights, garage door, and other home functions himself.

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