Ford at Moble World Congress: Automated Research Car, Self Parking, SYNC 2 & More

fordindashappFord made many announcements at Mobile World Congress and showed how it is advancing connected car services.

The new Ford Focus has rear sensors for the Cross-Traffic Alerts warning drivers of traffic while driving in reverse as well as blind spot alerts. The City Stop feature will try to stop the Ford if there is chance of accident.The new Perpendicular Parking feature and Active Park Assist uses sensors to map out parking to control the parking into the parking space.

Ford Drives Automatic Driving

Ford Motor Company  showcased an automated research car to continually develop into automated driving.  The research car will test driver-assist technologies for research and eventually provide information for legislation.

“The automated research car has four infrared light sensors called LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) that scan the surrounding environment for objects such as vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and even small animals. The sensors generate a real-time 3D map by bouncing infrared light off everything within roughly 70 metres, and calculating the distance between the vehicle and those objects at a rate of 2.5 million measurements per second. “

Ford collaborated with the University of Michigan, State Farm, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  In Europe, Ford also announced  a new research project with RWTH Aachen University.  The automated research car also builds on driver-in-control studies conducted in Ford’s VIRTTEX (VIRtual Test Track Experiment) driving simulator in the U.S.

Ford plans to develop ways avoid traffic/accident, assist parking and driving in slow traffic. Automated navigation and parking will be available in the future.

Ford Sync 2

Ford showed the SYNC 2 system for the first time in Europe. It allows drivers to control their in-car systems using, natural voice commands and 8″ color screen.  SYNC 2 offers voice control of entertainment, climate control, navigation and linked mobile devices.

New voice commands allows users to  say “I’m hungry” and a local restaurants are displayed and then phone the restaurant for a reservation. ”  To get directions the driver just a full address to get directions. For points of interest like a museum, state the museum and the system creates the directions.

SYNC 2 will play music on an MP3 player, smartphone or tablet.

New Sync Apps in Europe launched include Parkopedia for parking and AUPEO! for music voice control.

Traffic App Challenge for Developers

Ford extended its Traffic Tamer App Challenge-style competitions to developers around the world using Ford’s OpenXC research platform to access for GPS location and car functions such as wipers and lights.

Ford MyKey technology gives parents and car owners the ability to set what can be termed as parental controls.