One of the first road tests on the 1903 Ford Model A was published in “Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal” in August of that same year. The review included, “…this latest of American wagons offered leaves very little indeed to be desired. There will undoubtedly be advances in the art, but there will never be any wagon much more comfortable for its passengers than the Ford….”
Yet here we are in 2014, and “Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal” probably couldn’t have predicted what those advances and comfort levels would one day be! Although the Model A is gone – unless you count Bill Ford purchasing the oldest surviving 1903 Model A – the sensibility to remain the cutting-edge automaker in design, engineering and technology is still the foundation of what drives Ford. This has come in the form of electrification and fuel economy innovations as well as a global design language. Perhaps the most “futuristic” (for 1903!) Ford accomplishments have been in the way of connectivity and safety-assist features.
The voice-activated SYNC® allows you to keep your hands on the wheel while having voice-command capabilities for your phone, music and other conveniences. Ford is also at the forefront of mobile health, including the Allergy Alert® app used through SYNC AppLink™, allowing you to check allergy and pollen conditions outside the vehicle.
Ford is even working on a system that monitors biometric feedback through sensors in the steering wheel and seat to monitor your stress levels while driving, allowing the driver-assist technologies to further help when needed, such as determining that the “do not disturb” feature within the MyFord® Touch should be activated to help keep you focused.
And the ways in which a Ford vehicle can assist driving include the Lane-Keeping System, which has a forward-facing camera to scan for lane markings and then alerts you or assists as needed if the vehicle has drifted from the lane. Active Park Assist is another development, which utilizes ultrasonic sensors at the corners of the vehicle to automatically steer the vehicle into place when parallel parking; you just apply brake and acceleration. Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) lends support through sensors in the rear corners to warn if there’s a vehicle in your blind spot. And the Ford intelligent all-wheel-drive system, such as what’s on the new Escape, can pre-emptively reassess conditions about 20 times faster than it takes to blink your eye, readjusting the power split to give the right blend of handling and traction at all times.
Expect driver-assist technologies in the future to deal with CO2 reduction and traffic congestion. Ford is even experimenting with something called Electronic Brake Light, which would transmit a wireless brake-warning signal to set off a dashboard light on vehicles following yours.
So, what is your favorite “smart” Ford technology? What can you not live without? Tell us!