This is a great announcement for all you College students that only need a car for a few hours a week. Ford has announced a tw0-year alliance with Zipcar to add Escape and Focus cars to their line-up of over 250 university campuses. The 2012 models will start arriving on campus starting this week.
Zipcar is an alternative to car rental. You join the club and you will get a Zipcar card. Reserve your car for a date and time, then on that day walk up to the car, hold the card near and the car unlocks. Drive the car, return to the same spot and you are good to go.
Zipcar is in several cities across North America and the UK. There is an annual fee (depending on city you live in) upon registration and you would pay per hour, or day, depending on what you need. Gas and insurance is not needed – they take care of that for you.
“Today’s students are thinking differently about driving and transportation than they have in the past,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “This program enables today’s new drivers to experience our latest fuel-efficient vehicles, while helping them reduce their cost of living and help relieve congestion on campus. We’re looking forward to making Ford a staple of their college experience.”
For those who don’t need a car, this seems to be a decent alternative. The cost is low and the car choices are pretty good. Now you can Ford vehicles to the mix, which contain excellent fuel economy and technological advances. So you don’t need to take that old beater to school and fight parking fees and tickets. Just Zipcar and go!
Posted by KL Tech Muse at 3:03 PM on August 30, 2011
Where does Ford think cars will be in the future, that is something that they are answering at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show with the announcement of the EVOS concept car. The idea behind the Ford concept is that your car is set to your preferences. It connects to the cloud and can check the weather, traffic, and your work schedule. It can then send the information it gathered to your in-home system. For example if you have a change of schedule the car can notify and reset your alarm clock or perhaps it can suggest an umbrella if it is going to rain. As you get in your car it is already cooled or heated to your liking. The cars audio system is connected to your home entertainment system through the cloud. The car knows what you were listening to in the house so it continues it in the car. As you drive away the car closes your garage door and sets your home to energy-efficient mode.
The car can then suggest the best route based on your schedule and traffic. The car will adjust brakes, steering and suspension as needed It will adjust the hybrid power train to give the right mixture of electric and gas to maximize efficiency. The car also measures the driver’s heart beat and as it reaches a certain level, the car will automatically turn off unnecessary gauges to aid concentration. At the same time it will also put your phone in do not disturb mode.
If you are driving through an area that is heavily polluted the car can adjust the filtration system or suggest a route that is less polluted. The car will also go into full electric mode when that makes sense. If the car is in full electric mode it will send a signal to the police and any toll booth on the route to advise them that this is an electric car even though it has a tail pipe. If the car is in full electric mood in stop and go traffic it can throttle itself. Meanwhile you can relax as it reads your emails to you. The car can find you a parking spot with an electric vehicle (EV) conductive charging pad and reserve that spot. It then can give you turn by turn directions and guide you right over the EV pad, so that when you leave work your car will be fully charged.
A concept car shows the path where the automaker believes the auto industry is going. It is a future wish list. This wish list will depend on guaranteeing security in the cloud. The building of the external infrastructure such as installing EV conductive charging pads around cities. However I like the concept and hope it becomes a reality in my lifetime. Ford has some great videos up explain the concept car
Today August 22 Alan Mulally Ford Chief Executive Officer and Toyota President Akio Toyoda agreed to a memorandum of understanding to share information on the development of a new hybrid power train. One of the biggest problems with today’s hybrid trucks are their expense. Toyota is an acknowledge leader in the area of hybrid technology. While Ford is a leader in truck manufacturing, the Ford F150 being the best-selling truck in the US. By working together they hope to take advantage of their separate areas of strength to produce hybrid trucks that are affordable without losing capability. They will work together on the development of the technology, but will use the resulting technology to build their own systems to integrate within their vehicles. By working together they hope to take advantage of their separate areas of strength to produce hybrid trucks that are affordable without losing capability. The development of hybrid technology for trucks is necessary to met proposed fuel economy standards of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Derrick Kuzak, Ford Chief of Product Development answered some questions about this subject on this video.
The two companies also agreed to work together on their existing telematic systems standards and technology. They hope to create a safer, more secure and consumer friendly in-car telematics system. Ford currently has the MyFordTouch and SNYC, while Toyota uses G-Link, G-Book and a new system called Entune. They are only working together on the technology and standards and will continue to develop their own products and systems. This is just a memorandum of understanding and a full agreement will not be signed until next year. Toyota and Ford still remain competitors, but working together in this case make sense to both of their bottom lines. It will be interesting to see how far this cooperation goes and if creates a successful product in the end for either company.
OMG is it hot here in Texas. A cool 114 degrees today and no relief in site. Shutting down the AC in my room to do the show was not so fun… Think I had some brain melt going on. New contest tonight listen and find out how you can win a Google TV!
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Ford yesterday announced a new SYNC Services feature, “Operator Assist”, which lets drivers speak to a real person in order to help with enquiries such as business searches or address entry. It’s currently in beta and is being offered free to registered users of SYNC Services.
Operator Assist is voice activated and the new feature provides customers with the ability to safely connect with a live person who can quickly access information databases to help drivers get where they want to go. No additional hardware or software is needed and the driver (or passenger) simply says, “Operator” if he or she needs assistance with the automated system. After confirming the request, the individual is connected to a live operator for help in finding a business or entering an address. Directions can be sent directly to the vehicle’s navigation system or the business address and phone number can be texted to a mobile phone.
Taking the concept a step further, in the instance when a driver says an address or business that the automated system can’t identify, the driver will be offered the option to connect to a live operator for further assistance. If the user confirms he or she would like to speak with an operator, the system automatically connects the user to the live operator. This avoids the frustration that I think we’ve all encountered when we know where we want to go but the GPS doesn’t recognise the address.
“Seventy percent of all SYNC Services calls are for business search and directions“, said David Gersabeck, product manager, SYNC Services. “Our customers asked for additional assistance in situations where their voice request was not understood…Being able to connect with a live person at any time contributes to that [assistance].“
Today, through both Cnet and Engadget, we got a look ahead at Ford’s vision of the future of the automobile. The “V2V” monicker refers to “vehicle to vehicle” and it’s a new way for cars to communicate with each other while driving down the road.
A video, produced by Ford, has surfaced that gives a nice walk-through of the technology involved. As you can probably guess, before the rep explains it, it is really just basic cell phone technology being used here. The cars can let other vehicles in the area know of slowing or stopping traffic, lane changes, stop sign and red-light runners and a host of other things.
The video is demonstrated with both animation and real, live footage in the video below. You will also get a brief, but passable, explanation from some of Ford’s representatives about what it is capable of and how it works.
Like much of car-automation technology, a lot of this is probably years in the future. But, we are starting to see a lot more similar technology creeping into today’s showroom models. Enough to say I am hopeful that this is closer than we may think.
Sean from Ford introduces the all-electric version of the Ford Focus, which is set to be launched in 19 markets in late 2011. This is simply a remarkable vehicle. Esby takes you deep into the heart of the car to get a full rundown of all the features inside and out. With the need in my family growing for an additional vehicle I could see the green Electric Ford Focus sitting in the driveway.
Ford made some big announcements at CES 2011, the focus of this interview centered around their in-car technology, known as Sync. One of the biggest was AppSync, which takes the UI from your mobile device and integrates it into the car. That allows drivers to access apps on their mobile device through the Sync system via voice commands. They also teased some apps of their own which will be coming out soon. You will also hear a little bit about some the great safety feature that are being built into new Ford cars, the integration of extras like travel services information and even speed cameras and dangerous intersections warning. You can even check for coupons as pull up to a store or restaurant.
I need a clone, but who doesn’t! I have a mother load of content that I cover at a very serious pace. Your Geek is back in the swing of things, and feeling much better with the voice box on the mend. We are accepting underwriters to the show, listen for details this is significantly discounted rate over standard ad rates for the show. We have an Ohana member that is in need of new employment I give some details in the show tonight on that as well.
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Posted by geeknews at 10:15 AM on January 15, 2011
NBCU was nice enough to offer up their main stage for two events again this year, due to NBCU regular production time over runs we recorded our first NBCU event from the Bravo stage. What is funny is that we finished our 5 company interviews in 26 minutes, yet the program that caused us to not be able to use the main stage, recorded their 8 minute spot 5 times. What was different from take 1 to take 5 still has me still scratching my head, but the producer of that show obviously was not happy.
We had executives from Ford, iRobot, Red, Anti Sleep Pilot and Clickfree we could not not keep these executives waiting,and could not infringe on their time any longer holding them longer waiting for production at NBCU o wrap, so we had to shift to the poorly lit bravo stage. You will see in later videos from our NBCU day 2 coverage the deltas in what going from their main stage to the bravo dome. While I appreciate the support of NBCU and their allowing us to use their facilities we were disappointed that we could not give the companies we invited the appearance experience we had expected. Hopefully in future years we are given time slots that are a lot less conflicting with actual production of NBCU television shows.