Vehicle infotainment systems pretty much experience that same somewhat isolated and dispersed situation that the IoT industry is experiencing. With cars, however, the problem is less pronounced, perhaps because of fewer but stronger players. Still, standardization can still go a long way in pushing new technologies and new lifestyles forward, which is why Ford is offering its SmartDeviceLink software even to its rivals, with Toyota as one of the first to commit to it.
This age is truly a connected age but not everyone connects via the same means or owns the same connected devices. Instead of shoehorning their customers into a single solution, Ford is giving their buyers the gift of choice. Customers who will be purchasing a car equipped with the new SYNC 3 or upgrading to it will be able to choose between Apple's CarPlay or Google's Android Auto for connecting their mobile devices to their cars.
Just imagine: you work downtown and you're not shelling out for the ultra-expensive parking decks. Usually you can find a nice cheap spot on the curb a reasonable distance from your company, but not today. You've had to park many blocks away and you know you'll be sweaty and late if you walk the full distance. What's the solution? With the new Ford contraption revealed in a patent, you could just pop a tire off your car and ride it like a unicycle.
Ford announced this week that is was issuing a recall for over 300,000 of its cars, primarily over safety concerns relating to headlights failing to operate. The carmaker has said it's aware of 11 reported accidents tied to the issue, along with one report of a minor injury. The recall affects older models of the Crown Victoria sedan, while a separate recall has been issued for new model trucks and vans for other various issues.
The deal adds up: Ford and Google both want self-driving cars to stop being an experiment and start being a legitimate transport option. According to the rumor-mill, the automaker and the tech giant have been secretly scheming a collaboration on autonomous vehicles for several years, and the time is almost ripe for the fruits of that partnership to be shown off publicly.
Despite legal setbacks facing Google's self-driving car push, it seems that the search giant is ready to make a big step forward in that market. And it won't be doing it alone either. Insider sources claim that Google and Ford will be forming a venture together that will see a more consumer-centric push of Google's autonomous driving experiments. And it seems that everything is already in place, as those sources also claim that Ford will be making that announcement as early as CES 2016 in a few weeks.
Ford and Corning have announced that they have teamed to bring an interesting new windshield to the Ford GT supercar. The car will be the first to use a Corning Gorilla Glass hybrid windshield to save weight and improve damage resistance. Ford claims that the weight saved with the special windshield positively improves acceleration, fuel economy, and braking thanks to saving over 12 pounds compared to a normal windshield.
Ford will join Google and others testing self-driving cars on California roads in 2016, sending its autonomous Fusion Hybrid out among the public. The automaker is the latest to acquire a permit in the California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program, which gives permission for self-driving vehicles to escape from the test track and out into the real world.
Ford has a pilot program underway to help shuttle workers around its campus in Dearborn, Michigan. The pilot program is the Ford Dynamic Shuttle and it allows the workers to hail a shuttle to take them wherever they need to go on the campus. The Dynamic Shuttle experiment was announced back in January of this year and is just now kicking off its pilot program.
One of the coolest things about the Ford Sync system is that the infotainment system in cars that use Sync is updateable with new features. Ford has announced that a new Sync update is available for people to download and install on their cars that will add some much-desired features to the car for iPhone users.