Ford Developing New Technologies to Help Ease Traffic, Parking Stress and Address Future Mobility Challenges

July 26, 2012

Ford Motor Company is researching and developing intelligent, next-generation driving technologies designed to help address traffic jams and other future mobility challenges that come with rapid urbanization and population growth around the world.

Ford’s early prototypes of two such technologies – Traffic Jam Assist and an advanced version of active park assist, evolved to offer hands-free perpendicular parking – are designed to interact with a vehicle’s surroundings, reduce driver stress and help reduce traffic gridlock.

“Developing these technologies is part of the first step in a journey toward a more connected future,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation. “It’s an undertaking we believe will save time, conserve resources, lower emissions, improve safety and help reduce driver stress.”

Traffic Jam Assist

Traffic Jam Assist is an intelligent driving technology that Ford is developing for the mid-term. It uses radar and camera technology to help a vehicle keep pace with other vehicles in traffic and provide automated steering control to stay in the current lane, reducing driver stress and potentially improving vehicle flow.

“Drivers spend more than 30 percent of their time in heavy traffic,” said Joseph Urhahne, engineer with Ford Research and Innovation. “Traffic Jam Assist could help make traveling through congestion a more relaxing experience and, by keeping pace with the flow of traffic, potentially help relieve road congestion.”

Individual simulation studies have found that where 25 percent of vehicles on a stretch of road are equipped to automatically follow the traffic ahead, journey times can be reduced by 37.5 percent and delays reduced by 20 percent – saving millions of gallons of fuel each year.

Traffic Jam Assist has the potential to follow the traffic ahead while maintaining lane position in environments where there are no pedestrians, cyclists or animals, and where lanes are clearly marked.

Many of the sensing technologies required to deliver Traffic Jam Assist already are available on current Ford models including Focus, Escape and Fusion.

The developing technology would be able to respond to changing traffic situations ahead and communicate any developments to the driver. Traffic Jam Assist would also incorporate features to help ensure the driver remains alert and in contact with the vehicle controls, even when the system is active. It could also be overridden at any time.

Watch Ford Traffic Jam Assist Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTYvkqZ1kfY&feature=player_embedded#!

Perpendicular parking

In the near term, Ford plans to further develop its active park assist technology, a popular feature that allows drivers to parallel park without touching the wheel. Ford is adding perpendicular parking to the parallel parking maneuvers already possible.

The enhanced system would harness the technologies introduced with active park assist. It uses ultrasonic sensors to identify suitable parking spaces, for width rather than length, and then steers the vehicle into them using electric power-assisted steering (EPAS).

Active park assist is activated by pressing a center console button. When a suitable space is detected, the system will advise the driver to stop with an audible and visual warning. The driver will then be told to put the vehicle into reverse gear and operate brakes and clutch, if needed, while the car controls the steering wheel.

Perpendicular parking functionality would use the vehicle’s rear parking distance control sensors to monitor for obstructions not seen by the driver when backing into the space.

Where there is insufficient space to complete the maneuver in one attempt, the system might ask the driver to shift the vehicle into forward and reverse as necessary. Once the vehicle is perfectly parked, the driver gets a finish signal.


Ford Sets Truck Standard Again with New F-150 Limited, Offering Class-Leading Luxury and Capability

July 23, 2012

Ford, the industry’s truck leader, marks the launch of the latest F-150 with a new statement on pickup luxury for 2013 – the F-150 Limited.

“The F-150 Limited signifies the highest levels of design refinement, luxury and technology that we’ve ever offered in a Built Ford Tough pickup truck,” said Ford Group Vice President for Product Development, Raj Nair. “The F-150 Limited reflects a growing trend – more and more customers today have high expectations for luxury and convenience, yet their needs call for a truly capable truck.”

Ford leads the luxury truck segment. In 1999, the company introduced the special-edition 2000 Harley-Davidson F-150. In 2001, the first King Ranch F-150 arrived. The 2009 F-150 took truck luxury to new heights with the Platinum model.

Today, more than 30 percent of F-150 sales are from these high-end trims, with MSRPs that start at more than $35,000 and reach almost $50,000.

Limited meets the still untapped and growing luxury needs of customers and dealers interested in exclusivity and fine craftsmanship who want to differentiate themselves from other high-end options. F-150 Limited surpasses the well-appointed Lariat, western-themed King Ranch and contemporary Platinum.

Refined exterior design

The 2013 Ford F-150 Limited design combines unique 22-inch polished aluminum wheels and center caps with a monochromatic exterior theme available in three handsome hues – Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Tuxedo Black Metallic and White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat.

The theme carries through the F-150 Limited exterior design with body-color front and rear bumpers, front bumper valance, sideview mirror caps, wheel-lip molding, upper fascia and grille surround.

Segment-first HID headlamps provide a signature look while delivering two and a half times more light than conventional halogen lamps. Lamp detailing even incorporates F-150 insignias.

Jewel-like chrome highlights the bold three-bar grille, tie-down hooks lining the cargo box, the single tip of the tuned exhaust and the tow hooks on 4×4 variants. “LIMITED” dimensional lettering accents the box sides.

F-150 Limited is available exclusively with a SuperCrew four-door cab configuration.

Inside Limited

Rich red and black full-grain leather-trimmed seats take luxury and style to new heights in trucks – capitalizing on a trend seen in other high-end luxury vehicles. The seats also offer cooling and heating with memory functionality to remember seating preferences for two different drivers. Head restraints are four-way-adjustable and second-row seats are heated, too.

Aluminum trims the center panel and console, lending a sophisticated yet technical touch that complements the piano black accents. Ambient lighting can shift the mood of the F-150 Limited interior, offering five accent colors.

A standard moonroof provides the upward view, while the rear view camera aids maneuvering visibility. Voice-activated navigation offers a bird’s-eye view via a centrally mounted 8-inch LCD screen. A power-sliding rear window features privacy tint and defrost functionality.

Connectivity comes standard with MyFord Touch® powered by SYNC®. Designers have optimized the physical interface for MyFord Touch to accommodate truck users who may be wearing work gloves by providing easy access to climate controls and audio presets on the center stack.

Limited offers a unique gauge cluster design with a 4.2-inch driver-programmable productivity screen that can be customized to monitor various vehicle systems. The new series level also includes a media hub with USB ports, an SD-card reader and RCA video input jacks. A powerful Sony® Audio System is standard.

Built Ford Tough

F-150 Limited brings uncompromised capability for entrepreneurial and lifestyle pursuits with an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode, trailer tow package, trailer brake controller, Reverse Sensing System, power-deployable running boards and a 110-volt power inverter.

PowerFold side mirrors keep warm and dry in inclement weather and help ensure driver visibility with heated glass, memory position functionality, puddle lamps, turn signals and self-dimming actuation.

F-150 Limited is powered exclusively by Ford’s ground breaking 3.5-liter Ti-VCT EcoBoost® engine, featuring:

•365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm on regular fuel

•Unsurpassed 22 mpg highway for 4×2 model

•Twin independent variable camshaft timing for improved fuel economy

•Best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm vs. premium V8 competitors

•Up to 90 percent peak torque available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm

To complement that power, sport-tuned dampers are fitted front and rear for confidence-inspiring road dynamics.

F-150 Limited arrives at Fuller Ford this fall.

Fuller Ford offers Lifetime Free Oil Changes on ALL new vehicle purchases – in stock or factory ordered. Additionally, Fuller Ford offers the convenience of onsite Penske Truck Rental. Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati. We are Cincinnati’s ONLY downtown dealer! Check out our entire inventory at www.fullerisford.com.

 

 

 

 


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