October 2011 was the month the Intelligent Transportation Systems held their world conference in Orlando Florida. It was at this conference that Ford chairman Bill Ford said it was time for the automotive industry to take the ‘Information Superhighway’ phrase away from the IT industry.
Bill Ford talked about Ford’s vision for the future, where technologically advanced cars will talk to each other to avoid accidents, run more on electricity and monitor the health of passengers.
Bill Ford addressed a gathering of leaders from technology, business, and transportation policy makers. The ITS conference focused on practical, cost-effective deployment and innovation that provides drivers with better safety, reliability, convenience and choice.
The path to this interconnected future started with connected vehicles that have their own wi-fi hot spot and can talk wirelessly to other vehicles in a 300 meter range as well as share data with the cloud via cellular signal. The vehicles could also communicate with Google Technology, that could allow plug-in hybrid vehicles like the Ford C-Max Energi and Chevy Volt to switch to all electric driving mode when it enters school zones, National Parks, or other pre-determined areas.
Using the Google Prediction services, the vehicle could also optimize performance by switching between battery and hybrid mode when following a known route – the steep hills would use the gasoline engine, and save battery power for the long flat stretches.
These connected cars would not only sense other wifi connected cars, they could tell what they were doing – is people were slamming on their brakes or if windshield wipers were being turned on, your car would know and could warn you before you could even see brake lights.
Mr Ford saif Ford kept investing during the dark days so that they could introduce a vehicle like the 2012 Ford C-max Energi. Ford currently has 12 vehicles with best-in-class fuel economy.
Now that Ford is accepting orders for the Ford Focus Electric, it’s time to see if Ford put their money where there mouth is. Consumers will ultimately decide if they appreciate Ford’s ever-greener and more technologically advanced approach to making vehicles.