It's no secret that Ford prioritizes safety, quality and sustainability - but the automaker also ensures that convenience isn't left in the dust. Through their latest partnership with Panasonic System Communications Company of North America, the Blue Oval's making it notably simpler to return loaner vehicles.
The collaboration between Ford and Panasonic utilizes a Smart Service Kiosk, enabling customers to drop off and obtain their vehicle key or receive keys for a loaner vehicle, select services from a user-friendly menu, and even complete transactions for services. The technology is the first in its industry.
“Smart Service Kiosk enables Ford customers to drop off, pick up, select and pay for their vehicle service on their time, whether it’s outside of dealership service hours or to avoid waiting in line if the service staff is busy,” Brad Brownell, the director of Ford Global Distribution Strategy, said in a Ford release.
The drop-off process shines in its efficiency. Customers need only type in standard user/vehicle information using the kiosk touchscreen (or by scanning their driver's license QR code), create a custom PIN and select from the provided list of services before leaving the key. Email confirmation includes a QR code that can be scanned for key retrieval, if necessary. When ready for pick-up, the customer scans the QR code, enters their PIN and pays any applicable service bills before receiving their key.
Learn more about Ford's new and upcoming technologies at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington!
Ford Motor Company's strategic strides to emerge as a leading mobility company are paying off. Recent research by Auto Trader revealed that in the United Kingdom, Ford is ranked as the most desirable brand for motorists who are interested in the future of self-sufficient cars. Although full integration of autonomous cars into dealerships and roads is still on the horizon, the findings are indicative of Ford's current and future success.
As reported on TheSun.com, a UK news company, the results were derived from aggregated desirability ratings across 15 car manufacturers and tech companies. The selection aptly covers the majority of brands that have vocalized intent to deliver cars that are completely autonomous. Although 40 percent of the surveyed drivers suggested a lack of interest in driverless car technology, Ford emerged as the leading brand amongst the remaining 60 percent. Ford revealed its driverless Fusion prototype domestically in 2016, so there's sure to be more on tap - watch it in the video below:
According to Auto Trader's Editor-in-Chief, Jon Quirk, the takeaways from the research are a sign of what's soon to come.
“UK motorists picked Ford due to positive past experiences with the brand, which naturally led them to think positively about its delivery of cars in the future, despite drastic changes to how they will be built and, more importantly, used by motorists in the future,” he said. Learn more at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington!
You can purchase the Ford Taurus and the Ford Explorer at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington, but their roots are at the Chicago Assembly Plant - a location that recently implemented efficiency efforts to cut down on water usage by 13 million gallons in 2016. Although last year's goal was impressive on its own, the best is yet to come.
This year's water savings are expected to be even higher, thanks to the updated strategy that calls for an additional 30 percent reduction per vehicle in water use through 2020. Ford's updated strategy also includes a goal for zero drinkable water use in its manufacturing processes. The high standards speak to the Blue Oval's commitment to water leadership.
“It may come as a surprise just how much water automotive plants actually use,” Rhonda Turner, Ford's plant environmental control engineer, said. “Last month alone, we used 17 million gallons, so it’s really beneficial for us to find innovative ways to save water.”
Stay tuned to learn more about Ford's innovative plans for sustainability, and test-drive our selection of eco-friendly vehicles at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today!
Your next Ford F-150, Fiesta or Expedition may include a feature that is currently making waves. The Blue Oval's mobile water innovation, dubbed On-the-Go H2O, was recently selected as a finalist in two categories of Fast Company's 2017 World Changing Ideas Awards, which honor projects, ideas, businesses and more that provide innovative answers to issues affecting people today.
Ford engineers Doug Martin and John Rollinger developed the groundbreaking technology, which sparked from the question of cars' potential as water sources. The concept involves a system collecting condensation from car air conditioning systems, filtering them, and pumping the cleaned liquid back into a faucet located inside the vehicle for consumption. Learn more in the video below:
Keep an eye out for a feature on On-the-Go H2O in the April issue of Fast Company, which is out on March 27. The publication will acknowledge other finalists in the competition as well. Learn more at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today!
The latest addition to Ford's SYNC 3 technology, which makes its debut in the Mustang, puts the Blue Oval on the 'write' track to appeal to Chinese consumers on a whole new level.
Courtesy of engineers from Ford's Research and Engineering Center in Nanjing, the SYNC 3's touch screen now has the capability to interpret the country's traditional handwriting system. With taps and swipes of one's finger, a driver can write out Mandarin characters to provide navigation directions and more. It's certainly an upgrade from before, when inputting Chinese characters via touch screen was only possible by tediously typing in pinyin (phonetic spellings of Chinese words using the alphabet) and selecting the correct characters out of all the possible pronunciations.
Since the Mustang is Ford's top-selling sports coupe in China, it was a fitting option to pilot the new innovation.
“The Chinese version of SYNC 3 is far more than just a translation of a global technology,” Fisher Xu, the SYNC Supervisor for Ford Asia Pacific, said. “It’s really been localized to respond to a Chinese driver’s needs with a local point of view, from the voice commands that understand our accents and our habits, to the way we structure our statements. For instance, when you talk to a friend in China and they ask where you are, they’re really looking for a building name or a point of interest, not a street number. That’s probably different to other parts of the world, and SYNC 3 is smart enough to know this local preference, seamlessly.”
Stay tuned to learn more about Ford's newest technology, and visit Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington to test-drive our selection of Mustangs today!
Consumers in China are in for a treat with Ford's updated SYNC 3 technology, which makes writing commands via touch screen a breeze. The innovation, initially introduced in the Mustang, notably increases efficiency for drivers in China - a rapidly growing market for the Blue Oval.
Given that Mandarin characters have their nuances, the process to simplify touch screen input wasn't a walk in the park. But the payoff is worth the effort. The new multi-modal handwriting feature enables users to write characters by hand, immediately recognizing each character stroke in real-time and translating it into a typeface. Automatic association technology was the real MVP behind Ford's technology, making it possible for the system to accurately interpret any number of writing habits and styles.
And when a driver or front-seat passenger is in a rush, the technology doesn't falter. SYNC 3 is able to read Chinese characters even when they're scribbled in angles of up to 15 degrees. Details like this are what take the upgrade from good to great - Ford's engineers truly kept the consumer in mind when crafting the feature. Of course, the technology wouldn't be complete if it was only restricted to written commands. Using enhanced voice recognition technology, SYNC 3 is also able to recognize Mandarin Chinese voice commands.
Interested in the new Mustang and all it has to offer? Luckily, you don't need to book a flight to China. Simply drop by Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington to check out the ponies on our lot today.
Ford Motor Company's embrace of 3D printing for prototype and materials was catalyzed by advances in recent technology, as well as the expansion of applications and the increase in government support for the innovation. According to Global Industry Analysts, this groundbreaking technology is already slated to yield nearly $10 billion by the turn of the decade, making it a logical option for automakers like the Blue Oval.
As Ford's team is already discovering, 3D printing is able to craft parts lighter in weight, ultimately contributing to increased fuel efficiency - for example, a 3D-printed spoiler has the potential to weigh less than half of the same part cast in metal. The feature is also cost-efficient, rendering it the perfect mechanism to produce low-volume prototype parts and specialized race car materials. Watch it in the video below:
3D printing can also expedite the process of making tooling and fixtures of greater scale - parts that normally take months to create, given the process of modeling and prototype tooling, would only take a couple of days.
It's clear that 3D printing, once an innovation on the horizon, is now on the forefront for Ford. Learn more at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today.
Jumping on the growing trend of three-dimensional printing, Ford Motor Company is now looking into the potential to print large-scale, one-piece auto parts. The 3D-printed pieces, printed using the Stratasys Infinite 3D printer, would be utilized for prototyping and future production vehicles for the first time.
Considering its capacity to print virtually any length or shape of automotive parts, the Stratasys is the optimal piece of technology to pioneer 3D vehicle manufacturing. The process would eventually facilitate greater efficiency and affordability to craft tooling, prototype parts and other materials for Ford Performance products and more. Currently, the all-new 3D printer system takes residence at Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn.
“With Infinite Build technology, we can print large tools, fixtures and components, making us more nimble in design iterations,” Ellen Lee, Ford's technical leader of additive manufacturing research, said. “We’re excited to have early access to Stratasys’ new technology to help steer development of large-scale printing for automotive applications and requirements.”
Check back to learn more about Ford's innovative printing technology, and stop by Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington for additional information.
Manually operated sliding platforms are mechanisms of the past. Enter Ford Motor Company, which recently filed a patent application for what is dubbed a “powered sliding platform assembly.”
Compared to its manual predecessor, the Blue Oval's new patent application outlines a platform that works using an electric motor. In addition to a vehicle, the motor is also able to power tools using an outlet. According to the application, manually operated sliding platforms can prove difficult if they're loaded heavily; parking on inclines or declines can also inhibit them. In comparison, a powered platform renders those issues obsolete.
When constructed, the platform would be adhered to a truck bed's rails, with a pin locking in an acutator. Additionally, a programmed controller would serve to retract the pin and allow the rail to move. Incorporated into a Ford pickup, the mechanism could assist with handling various payloads.
The team at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington is ready and eager to answer any patent-related questions. Stop by today!
Big things are on the horizon for the compact EcoSport SUV, a vehicle that Ford crafted to 'go small while living big.' The SUV is one that will benefit from the Blue Oval's all-new streaming technology.
In the EcoSport, where interior space is limited, the new streaming upgrade will upheave the way that passengers listen to music on the road. Given that Millennials overwhelmingly prefer subscription and streaming services than the alternative - CDs, in particular - the new EcoSport will feature an option for streaming technology, removing the original CD player in the vehicle altogether. The streaming update will provide users with a variety of choices on demand, while increasing the capacity to hold personal items and devices and allowing the touch screen to stay more upright.
Although CDs are not completely obsolete yet, Ford's removal of the CD player is supported by data that advocates for digital music. The 2016 Nielsen Mid-Year U.S. Music Report, for example, shares that overall consumption of downloaded and streamed music is up 15 percent, whereas physical album sales have decreased by 10 percent.
In addition to the streaming technology for a more enhanced music experience, the EcoSport will also include an available Wi-Fi hotspot and SYNC Connect® with FordPass®. Learn more about what's on tap for the EcoSport at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington!