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Archive for July, 2015

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Automaker Trying to Reduce Teen Driving Death Rate

The leading cause of death for teenagers in America is not cancer or some other horrible disease. Automobile crashes are the number one killer of America’s teens. Ford Driving Skills for Life is offering teens a chance to improve their driving skills and help keep themselves and their friends off the mortality list. By teaching skills like Hazard Recognition, Vehicle Handling, Speed Management, Space Management and Distracted and Impaired Driving, Ford is making a difference in the lives of young teens. You can talk to the pros at your Scottsdale Ford dealer, Chapman Ford, or visit this link for more information.

Discussion Turns to Marijuana Impairment

As more states legalize the use of marijuana, Ford is recognizing the need to focus the discussion on impaired driving. “Our program is focused on providing young and inexperienced drivers with the training and tools they need to stay safe behind the wheel,” said Jim Graham, manager of the program. “As legal marijuana use becomes more widespread, we are including additional information about impaired driving to help new drivers navigate the changing environment.” Although marijuana is legal to smoke in some states, that doesn’t apply to teens and it doesn’t change the fact that driving while impaired is a dangerous crime.

DSFL Training Includes Phoenix Stop

Although the date hasn’t been set yet, the schedule shows the DSFL team will be stopping in Phoenix sometime later this year. The crew of professional instructors will be hitting 25 different cities in 2015. By working with pros in actual vehicles, your teen will learn advanced driving skills in a completely controlled environment. Not just a driver education course, the DSFL training teaches skills that will last a lifetime and help keep your child safe on the road for decades to come.

Free Training In-person and Online

By going to the DSFL website, you have access to a training area, car maintenance videos, interactive games and an enhanced curriculum that is helpful for novice and experienced drivers. Both the online training and in-person workshops are completely free. Considering the fact that almost 3,000 teens die on the roadways each year, Ford is imploring parents to take advantage of this service. Ford is also a trend-setter in safety technology, including sensors that help all drivers avoid crashes and inflatable seat belts that help disperse the energy in a crash. See all the latest Ford safety technology at Chapman Ford in Scottsdale.

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It All Started With the Model T

Although there were other motorized vehicles before the Model T, Henry Ford gets the credit for creating and refining the assembly line process to make the cars affordable. When the Model T first launched in 1908, it cost an astronomical $825! And that was without touchscreen and parking assist. Ford tweaked the assembly line until he was able to get the price down to just $260 by 1925. The Model T was reliable transportation that almost everyone could afford. It also signaled the beginning of the true automotive industry in America that provided the basis for a booming economy through much of the 20th century. Ford continues to provide innovative ways to help Americans get where they need to go. Visit your Scottsdale Ford dealer, Chapman Ford, to see the complete lineup of the latest Fords.

Model 18 First Mass-produced V-8

Although not as well-known as the Model T by the general public, the 1932 Ford Model 18 had the distinction of being the first mass-production car to have a V-8 engine. Popular with everyone from hot rodders to moon shiners and gangsters, the Model 18 provided a lot more pep than most of the cars on the road. Famed bank robber John Dillinger even wrote a letter to Henry Ford, thanking him for making “as fast and sturdy a car.” 1932 Fords are still a very desirable body and chassis for current hot rod enthusiasts.

Ford Mustang Designed for Baby Boomers

The 1965 Ford Mustang proved to be one of the most successful vehicle launches in automotive history. This pioneer of the pony car movement sold more than 1 million units in the first year-and-a-half of production. By teaming up with Carroll Shelby for special edition units, the Mustang has been a solid performer for most of the last 50 years. It inspired Chevrolet to build the Camaro and Dodge to create the challenger, but the Mustang is far and away the best selling pony car of all time.

Ford GT Slaps Ferrari in the Face

It was the mid 1960s when Henry Ford II attempted to buy a half-share in the famed Ferrari sports car company. When Enzo Ferrari reneged on a deal at the last minute, Ford put his engineers and designers to work creating the Ford GT40, a hyper sports car that could not be farther on the other end of the spectrum from the Model T. Ford got his comeuppance when the GT40 punished Ferrari by taking the 24-hour LeMans race in 1966. The latest version of the Ford GT is set to come to Chapman Ford sometime early next year.

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Cars are becoming tech-savvier with each production cycle. However, there aren’t many automotive infotainment setups that have the range of apps most high-end smartphones boast of. Google and Apple are now stepping in, but even they aren’t bringing increased flexibility and versatility to the table (in terms of app range and volume).

Ford has come up with an alternative called Secure Device Link (SDL). The platform is open source and the infotainment interface of any vehicle can be used for controlling smartphone apps. Also the Ford Developer Program was launched by the automaker that facilitates quick integration and functionality across different automotive platforms.

After two years of Ford’s announcement, Toyota last week announced its understanding with Ford to explore Livio, a startup based in Detroit that produces middleware to work in conjunction with almost every auto infotainment system software and hardware. The collaboration means SDL tech implementation in future Lexus and Toyota vehicles.

When compared to current proprietary systems, inclusive of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, SDL offers more advantages. Unlike Android Auto and CarPlay, SDL systems do not require a cellular connection. In fact, as per Ford product manager for connected services, SDL isn’t competing with Android and iOS systems. The setup has room to accommodate third-party solutions within its ecosystem.

CarPlay and Android Auto replicate their operating systems on the dash, albeit in a driver-friendly, limited manner. SDL dives into car data and lets developers churn out a whole new range of apps. Ford has taken onboard 12,000 developers – the major appeal being the ability to develop a universal app compatible across different platforms, negating the need to churn out unique apps for every OS.

Another benefit of SDL to developers and automakers is that it can be globally rolled out. The footprint and reach Ford has currently with Sync, the company could scale SDL fairly well. As long as appropriate partners are located, any region across the world can be explored. A car manufacturer like Toyota enjoys worldwide reach and exploring collaboration within this space could be advantageous for both developers and Ford.

While Toyota and Ford are among the globe’s biggest auto manufacturers, several other competing auto firms should be convinced for SDL collaboration as well, to enhance SDL’s overall impact. Reaching out to other players is the initial step in building the ecosystem. Ford has been in talks with several auto companies, of which Toyota is the first company to accept SDL exploration. Ford believes it’s great for other companies that could be privately exploring or not out in the open. For the moment, Toyota’s green flag is an encouragement for Ford, which hopes to see other companies hop on.

Visit a Scottsdale Ford dealership near you to learn more about the latest Ford vehicle innovations. View available Ford models today at Chapman Ford.

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You are excited to get your boat back in the water for the summer, but you always fear those moments when you have to back up the trailer into the water. Fear no more as Ford has solved this problem for you. This new tech is featured on the 2016 F-150 model pickup truck, which will be for sale at Chapman Ford by year’s end.

This new feature is called Pro Trailer Backup Assist (PTBA) and is designed to make backing up a trailer of virtually any size really easy. It could be a boat, mobile home or a small cargo rig made for moving. If it can be towed by the new F-150, it is guaranteed to be compatible with the new backup assist.

This is the way it works.

No hands on the steering wheel!

The steering wheel isn’t used to control the PTBA. Drivers actually control minor adjustments when backing up using a dashboard and control made especially for the trailer backup. There are only two directions for the knob, right and left which simplify the vehicle’s movements. The truck will automatically steer itself while you are working on the knob and dashboard. It will also instantly modify the speed as required.

As stated by Car and Driver, the driver can still use the pedals to control speed, however the maximum speed with the PTBA engaged and in reverse is 4.3 mph. The system will automatically shut off when the vehicle is back in drive and goes over 25 mph.

Ford claims that the system will make backing up easy for drivers of any skill level.

So what do you need for this system to work?

The PTBA will work with your existing trailer as long as it doesn’t have a gooseneck hitch. According to Ford’s tests, the system works with virtually every system except a goosneck. Car and Driver claimed that every trailer Ford has tested has worked with the system. You just need to supply four quick measurements to set it up before hitting the road, including the distance between the:

  • Hitch ball and license plate
  • The mid of the back axle and the tailgate
  • Sticker target and rear facing camera
  • Sticker target and middle of hitch ball

The sticker target you will have to apply yourself. They are black and white stickers designed by Ford to help make the above calculations easier and when properly placed will make backing up your 2016 Ford F-150 much easier.

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Ford Tapping Into Rich Brain Trust

Seeking to take advantage of an area rich in technology expertise, Ford Motor Co. opened the Silicon Valley Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, Calif. this January. By recruiting the best of the best from high-tech companies such as Google and Apple, as well as top graduates from Stanford, Ford is banking on the future of technology as the key to success in the ever-changing auto industry. Ford is treating the lab like a start-up tech company, encouraging the new employees to “think, act and disrupt like a startup.” See how Ford is applying technology to its vehicles in both safety and performance by visiting your Scottsdale Ford dealer, Chapman Ford.

Automaker Partnering With Other Tech Companies

With a strong presence in the Silicon Valley, Ford is also able to partner up with other tech companies and take advantage of their expertise. A recent partnership with Carbon3D is already turning profits. That two-year old company specializes in 3D printing and is able to make certain parts 25 to 100 times faster than old methods. The partnership “enables us to quickly create automotive-grade parts for product design prototypes – and perhaps even production parts – faster than ever before, so we can deliver new vehicles to customers even sooner,” said Raj Nair, Ford product development lead. Ford is also looking to partner with other companies, including one that could control your home thermostat from the touchscreen on your new Ford.

Moving Toward Creation of an Autonomous Vehicle

Many automakers are testing technology that will create vehicles that can sometimes drive themselves. Ford’s presence in the Silicon Valley is a testament to the fact that they want to be the leaders in pilotless driving. The company said it is in the second stage of autonomous vehicle development, just one step away from creating a production pilotless car. Lab CEO Mark Fields said the eventual product will not be just for the rich. “We haven’t put a timetable on it,” he said recently, “but when we do come out with an autonomous vehicle, it’s important that the vehicle is accessible to everyone and not just luxury customers, because that’s who we are as a company. Examine the complete Ford lineup for yourself from the fun and spunky Fiesta to the luxurious and efficient Fusion Hybrid at Chapman Ford. Features like lane change assist and blind spot detection are already available, serving as a basis for a future pilotless car.