Archive for June, 2012

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Ford Opens High-Tech Lab in Silicon Valley

June 20, 2012

(from autos.ca)

Mountain View, Calif. —Ford officially opened its new Silicon Valley Lab (SVL), ready to engage the tech community in the quest for the technological progress.

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford came to the spiritual home of the computer and consumer electronics industry to celebrate the grand opening of the Ford Silicon Valley Lab and to participate in the Computer History Museum’s “Revolutionaries” lecture series.

“We have been innovating for more than a century at Ford, but we acknowledge we don’t have a monopoly on creativity,” said Ford. “Our new office will complement our existing research efforts by allowing us to tap into the region that has been driving consumer technology forward in recent decades.”

While Ford is strongly associated with the industrial heartland of America, the company has global reach with Research and Innovation facilities in Dearborn, Mich.; Aachen, Germany; Nanjing, China; and technology scouts in Tel Aviv, Israel.

“We want Silicon Valley to view Ford as a platform that is open, accessible and ready for their innovative ideas and technologies,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “We are looking for unexpected solutions for the future, and we believe Silicon Valley is the right place to round out our global research organization.

“We view technology as more than just an impressive list of microprocessors, sensors and software,” he added. “It is the enabler of a safe, intuitive and enjoyable time behind the wheel.”

Ford’s Silicon Valley Lab will serve as a local touch point for the many relationships Ford already has with Bay Area technology companies and startups. Its core mission, though, is to operate as an independent lab focused on three key areas supporting the future of personal mobility:

  • Big data – Ford is increasingly a data-driven company, fusing both internal and external sources to shape product and marketing offerings and support strategic decision making. In addition, vehicle data from the growing list of sensing technologies built into the car can be used locally to create a more personalized, convenient and productive driving experience, then aggregated to help address congestion and improve efficiency.
  • Open-source innovation – Viewing the car as a platform and providing access to real-time data allows for the rapid development of custom hardware and software applications. Ford has extensive experience in development of on-board and off-board applications for the SYNC in-car connectivity system. Now the Silicon Valley Lab is looking at open-source development using the research platform OpenXC developed with Bug Labs.
  • User experience – Information and services need to be presented to the driver in ways that don’t take away from the primary task of operating the vehicle. Ford is rethinking how drivers and passengers interact with vehicles as well as how vehicles should interact with them. Innovations in design and new technologies can help to optimally organize, filter and deliver content.

“As new ways of processing, curating and filtering information are conceived, the possibilities for enhancing personal mobility are virtually limitless,” said Venkatesh Prasad, general manager of the new lab and senior technical leader of open innovation. “With many of the finest forward-thinking minds in the world located in the San Francisco Bay region, the Ford Silicon Valley Lab is ideally positioned to interact with and forge connections to local innovators and grow the relationships with our current partners.”

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Ford Sync Inducted into Computer History Museum

June 18, 2012

(from Luke Vandezande, autoguide.com)

Despite being irrelevant by today’s standards, the first version of Ford’s Microsoft-based Sync system is getting special attention tonight.

Under the spotlight as it’s inducted into the Computer History Museum, a facility dedicated to chronicling the machines most of us rely on every day, Ford Sync is one of the first automotive computer systems to be featured. Until now, car-related computer exhibits have featured items like engine control units, not the touch screen stuff of modern systems found in new cars.

“As cars have transformed into mobile platforms for consumers’ communication and entertainment needs, the intersection of automotive and computing developments is becoming an increasingly important area for the Museum to consider. Ford Motor Company’s collaboration with Microsoft on Sync technology is an example of this changing landscape,” Alex Bochannek, the museum’s curator and senior manager said.

Sync is credited by many for having helped the blue oval brand move from feeling like an antiquated automaker to the forefront in terms of in-car tech. Today, that technology has grown into the MyFord Touch system found in its latest cars.

Competition is heating up, with companies like Apple jumping in to compete, but the Microsoft-based system will always be remembered as the trailblazer.

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Hallmark Ford in the community

June 8, 2012

Here at Hallmark Ford we value the opportunity to give back to our community and be a part of different events.  One of the programs we participate in is Ford’s “Drive One 4 UR School”.  This program allows community groups and schools to raise some much-needed cash for various events and projects.  The idea is quite simple: we supply a variety of new Ford vehicles to the group on a specific day for people to test drive.  For very test drive taken Ford donates $20 to the group!  There is no cost to the group to have the vehicles for the day…we take care of the gas and insurance.

Here is a picture of me presenting a cheque to Bobbie Felder (left) and Jeannie Scott (middle) for an event for the Fraser Heights Secondary Dry Grad for 2012:

Kudos to all of the volunteers that Bobbie and Jeannie organized for this event.  You definitely made this event a success!

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Ford Sets FIA World Speed Records with 1.0-Liter EcoBoost-Powered Focus

June 5, 2012

(from Jake Holmes, rumors.automobilemag.com)

The 123-hp, 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine that is available for the European Ford Focus may be designed for fuel efficiency, but that doesn’t mean it can’t provide performance. Three examples of the 1.0-liter Ford Focus recently set 16 World Speed Records in testing in France.

The EcoBoost Ford Focus hatchbacks were entered in the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s sub-1.0-liter class, and competed in three types of events: standing start acceleration, flying-start runs, and average speeds over a certain amount of time or distance. Cars were picked at random from the Ford factory in Saarlouis, Germany, and the engines were carefully broken-in by officials from the Féderation Française du Sport Automobile. Those steps are meant to guarantee fairness and ensure that these records represent what a normal three-cylinder Ford Focus could achieve.

Among the average speed records set: one kilometer standing start, at an average speed of 113.522 km/h; one mile standing start, at an average speed of 79.402 mph; one kilometer flying start, at 176.168 km/h; and the one mile flying start at 108.548 mph. The Ford Focus 1.0-liter models also recorded extremely high average speeds for several endurance tests: 106.272 mph over 24 hours, 103.357 mph over 1000 miles, and a testing-best of 118.716 mph over one hour.

(read the entire article HERE)

 

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2013 Ford F-150 unveiled, gets some design upgrades and new options

June 5, 2012

(from Omar Rana, egmcartech.com)

Here it is – the 2013 Ford F-150 and this time around it features an upgraded design (mostly on the front), some nice changes to the interior, MyFord Touch with SYNC, available high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and well, that’s about it really.

“Like our hardworking customers, Ford is committed to getting the job done right with our industry-leading trucks,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “”he 2013 F-150 demonstrates our commitment to continuously improving our trucks with new features and capabilities, allowing F-Series owners to be increasingly productive.”

Ford will be offering its range of SYNC Services including, Traffic Information, Turn-by-Turn Directions, Business Search, Send to SYNC from Google Maps and MapQuest, News, Sports, Weather and Horoscopes – all which can be viewed on the 8-inch LCD color touch screen if you g odor the Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum or Limited Edition.

(read more about the different engines and see more pictures HERE)