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Archive for January, 2016

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Ford Announces DJI Developer Challenge

With a goal of developing usable software that allows vehicles and drones to communicate with each other, Ford Motor Company has teamed up with drone developer DJI to challenge coders to a software contest. The ultimate goal is to create a system for surveying emergency zones that might be inaccessible to vehicles. The surveying would be done from an F-150 pickup, creating a mobile office to coordinate rescue efforts. “At Ford, we are driving innovation in every part of our business to help make people’s lives better,” according to Ford VP Ken Washington. “Working with DJI and the United Nations, there is an opportunity to make a big difference with vehicles and drones working together for the common good.” The F-150 is a perfect choice for a mobile office in rugged terrain. With a body made of high strength aluminum and military steel, it’s light and nimble enough to move quickly through ruts and trails. For the best deal on a Ford in Scottsdale, see how capable the F-150 is by taking a test drive at Chapman Ford.

SYNC Controls Drone From Touchscreen

The developer challenge will require coders to create software that will allow the Ford SYNC touchscreen to identify an area in need of assistance and then send a drone using the AppLink feature in SYNC. The drone would then survey the entire area, sending back pictures of wreckage and survivors. By linking in a smartphone, the driver would transmit all data to the cloud for real-time use by the rescue team. The truck will be in constant communication with the drone, so the unmanned flight vehicle can dock with the truck when its mission is complete. The initial intent of this software is to aid in rescues in remote areas, but it could also be tailored to for such things as bridge inspections, crop surveys, construction inspections and any other work environment that involves surveying large areas or tall buildings.

Ford Developer Program Continues to Break New Ground

First introduced at the Consumer Electronic Show in 2013, the Ford Developer program continues to push the limits of technology by inspiring developers to think way outside the box. The program is the first developing ecosystem in the automotive industry, opening up opportunity to coders from all around the globe. Ford provides access to development tools needed as the company pushes toward the creation of self-driving cars through the use of mobile operating systems. Events like Ford’s Hackathons invite thousands of developers to visit places like Brazil, Ireland and Israel to create usable software within a 24-hour time limit.

Drone Challenge Winner Receives $100,000

As part of the Ford Smart Mobility plan to move people from one point to another and avoid urban congestion, the Drone Challenge offers a hefty incentive of $100,000 to the winning team. The use of drones could be important in helping vehicles connect to one another in the coming decades, a vital cog in the ability to keep traffic moving and relieve the traffic jams that are so common today in major cities. Part of the technology is already in place, with safety features like adaptive cruise control and lane change assist, that help a driver avoid collisions. See how Ford’s technology is shaping up with a visit to Chapman Ford.

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Smart Home Products Wave of Future

In a recent survey, more than half of all consumers said they would purchase one smart home product, such as lighting, security systems or temperature control, within the next year. Commonly controlled by a smartphone, these items allow you to do everything from shut off an alarm to lock your doors from anywhere there is cellular service. Ford is diligently working to connect its SYNC infotainment system to the Amazon Echo with the intent of controlling home automation equipment via voice recognition. Other uses of this technology could be to open a garage door or turn on a porch light as soon as a vehicle is a certain distance from home. Check out all the ways SYNC can improve your driving experience by taking a trip to your Phoenix Ford dealer, Chapman Ford.

Amazon Cloud Service Alexa Important Part of Experiment

Alexa, a cloud-based service similar to Apple’s Siri, works through the Amazon Echo to provide information and answer a variety of questions. Ford is looking to make SYNC work with Alexa to not only utilize home automation, but provide information to a driver about their car while sitting in the comfort of their own home. Using Alexa a driver could start or stop a vehicle, schedule a starting time, check fuel or battery levels and find the location of a vehicle. The latter would be particularly useful in the case of a stolen car or a teenager who may be out past their allotted curfew.

Wink and SYNC are Potential Partners

Ford is also working with the developers of Wink, the system that combines home automation devices made by different companies. “Connecting homes and cars is all about making life easier and convenient for our customers,” said Ford executive director of connective vehicle services Don Butler. “As smart homes and smart cars continue to evolve, SYNC technology makes it easy to implement features that will make life better and more convenient for our customers.” The combination of SYNC, Wink and Alexa are just another step in Ford’s Smart Mobility plan, designed to help move people from one point to another and cure future urban congestion.

SYNC is Ford’s Answer to Hands-free Communication

The SYNC infotainment system is a safety and convenience feature Ford offers in most vehicles that allows you to make a hands-free phone call, return a text message or listen to music without ever taking your eyes off the road. MyFord Touch is an upgrade from the base SYNC package that provides four quadrants featuring phone, navigation, audio and vehicle information. Upgrade all the way to SYNC 3 and you get next level voice recognition with a new interface. If you’re looking for a Phoenix Ford dealer, stop by Chapman Ford and see how the different SYNC packages make driving a more pleasant, and safer, experience.

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Autonomous Vehicle Test Fleet Largest in Industry

Ford is proving its commitment to solving personal mobility problems of the future by expanding its development fleet of autonomous vehicles. Autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles are widely hailed as an important solution to the increasing traffic problems of the next few decades. By taking the human element out of the driving equation and providing vehicles that communicate with each other, automakers hope to solve traffic congestion in major urban areas. Many autonomous safety features are already available on Ford vehicles. Check this technology out with a visit to your Scottsdale Ford dealer, Chapman Ford.

Fusion Hybrid Test Fleet Tripled

By tripling the number of Ford Fusion Hybrid autonomous vehicles in its test fleet, Ford brings the number up to 30. The cars are being tested in various conditions in Michigan, Arizona and California. “Using the most advanced technology and expanding our test fleet are clear signs of our commitment to make autonomous vehicles available for millions of people,” according to Ford executive vice president Raj Nair. “With more autonomous vehicles on the road, we are accelerating the development of software algorithms that serve to make our vehicles even smarter.” Ford has been testing autonomous vehicles for more than a decade. This year’s version of test vehicles is the third generation of self-driving cars.

LiDAR Sensors Handle Different Driving Experiences

Ford uses a hocky puck shaped LiDAR sensor to communicate with other vehicles and relay information to the vehicle’s computer. With a range of 200 meters, these sensors are able to provide data on different scenarios, including obstacles, collisions and traffic jams to the vehicle’s central computer. Its small aerodynamic design makes it perfect for placing on mirrors, cutting the need from four sensors to only two. “Adding the latest generation of computers and sensors, including the smaller and more affordable Solid-State Hybrid Ultra PUCK Auto sensors helps bring Ford ever closer to having a fully autonomous vehicle ready for production,” Jim McBride, Ford technical leader, said.

Fusion Hybrids Have Most Advanced Technical Architecture

As the most technically advanced Ford, it made sense to go with the Fusion Hybrid. A full-size car that gets 40 miles per gallon in the city, the Fusion Hybrid uses advanced features like regenerative braking and EcoGuide to help you get the most efficiency. Although the autonomous vehicles are still a few years away, stop by Chapman Ford and see the future for yourself by test driving a Fusion Hybrid.

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Aim to Help Close Tech Gender Gap

With an eye toward closing the gender gap in the field of technology, the Ford Motor Company Fund is providing mentorship and hands-on help to the 180-member “Girls Who Code” club in northern California. The girls, ranging from grades six to 12, will be allowed to work with researchers and engineers in the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto. They will have access to information and equipment in the high-tech Silicon Valley research lab, giving them experience that will prove invaluable in their future careers. Technology is becoming more important than ever in modern Ford cars and trucks, which you can experience with a trip to your Scottsdale Ford dealer, Chapman Ford.

Only 18 Percent of Computer Science Grads are Female

With less than 20 percent of computer science graduates representing the female gender, Ford feels its important to help level the playing field. Ford has been providing support to the nation’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students for more than 30 years, and this is a continuation of that effort according to Ford chief information officer, Marcy Klevorn. “The use of technology is growing exponentially among young people, yet it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract them to technology-related educational programs,” Klevorn said. “Ford is working with Girls Who Code to educate them on the many exciting career opportunities available in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.”

Tech Job Needs Outpacing Supply

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the technical field will have more than 9 million available jobs by 2022, a number that cannot be met by men alone. Ford’s encouragement of young women is important, as only 0.4 percent of female high school grads choose to enter the computer science field. Girls Who Code is an important group inspiring young women to take advantage of future opportunities. “We are especially excited at this expanded collaboration because Ford is an institution with longevity in STEM careers for women,” according to Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani.

Ford Mobility Program Relies on Sound Engineering

As one of the leading automakers in the push to solve the personal mobility problems of the next few decades, Ford is relying on young engineering talent to bring fresh ideas. The problem of autonomous driving is not going to be easily solved, but Ford has made great headway with driver assistance safety features like adaptive cruise control and lane change assist. Expect technology to change greatly in the next 10 years, but you can see what’s available now by checking out the Ford lineup at Chapman Ford. Your Scottsdale Ford dealer has a large inventory of some of the most technologically advanced cars and trucks on the planet.

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Set to Debut on New Ford GT Supercar

Ford has teamed up with Corning on a new hybrid technology for windshields that is not only lighter and tougher than normal safety glass, but also improves handling. Coming soon on the new Ford GT, Gorilla Glass is a composite three-layer windshield that sandwiches a sound-deadening thermoplastic sheet between an inner pane of annealed glass and a strong outer panel of automotive glass. “Gorilla Glass hybrid is a great example of how Ford works with suppliers to innovate in every area of our business,” according to Ford vice president Hau Thai-Tang. “Ford GT is setting new standards for innovation through performance and light-weighting and we’re excited about exploring other applications for this great new technology.” Check in with the pros at your Phoenix Ford dealer, Chapman Ford to see how you can get a look at the new Ford GT.

Thinner Glass Changes Vehicle Handling

By providing a windshield that is up to 50 percent thinner than normal windshields, Ford has change the handling dynamic of the new GT. It not only improves acceleration because of its lighter weight, but also improves fuel economy, braking and even provides a lower center of gravity. The result is increased stability and control through sharp corners. “During development we tried different glass variations before we found a combination that provided both weight savings and the durability needed for exterior automotive glass,” Ford engineer Paul Linden said. “We learned, somewhat counter intuitively, that the strengthened interior layer of the windshield is key to the success of the hybrid window.”

GT Going on Sale This Month

Although delivery dates to Chapman Ford have not been announced, the sales process of the new 2017 Ford GT has begun. Talk to the sales pros there to see how you can get your hands on this 600 horsepower supercar that features a super strong lightweight carbon body on a military strength aluminum subframe. With suspension built for the track, the GT is pioneering the handling setup for future Ford vehicles. The aerodynamic shape of the GT is only interrupted when the driver or passenger opens the scissor doors. The GT is hitting the race track for the first time this month when it attacks the legendary Daytona International Speedway.

GT Performance Inspires New Fiesta and Focus

Sporting a 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine that produces 197 horsepower, the new Fiesta ST is a more affordable sports car than the GT, but still delivers tons of fun. If you need a bit more room or horsepower, step up to the Focus ST, which houses a 2.0-liter EcoBoost motor that pumps out 252 horses. Both the Fiesta and Focus ST are members of the Ford racing team and feature aluminum racing pedals, special sport suspension and high performance brakes. If you’re looking through Phoenix Ford inventory for an affordable sports car, make sure and stop by Chapman Ford to see when the Fiesta and Focus ST will be making their first appearance in the showroom.