Ford Smart Mobility Tour shows that Angelinos love tech

LosAngelesFord took its Smart Mobility Tour to the City of Angels and its research shows Angelinos worry more about backing out onto a busy street than ghosts or flying. The survey also showed that L.A. drivers would like technology to lower stress when driving.

More L.A. survey respondents said they are more afraid of backing out onto a busy street (26 percent) than ghosts (16 percent) or flying (15 percent). In fact, visibility while driving is a leading concern for Los Angeles drivers — three out of four said monitoring blind spots is a concern, while seven out of 10 listed backing out onto a busy street is a concern, and not being able to see all angles when backing up or driving in low-visibility situations as worrisome.

L.A. drivers want more tech to help them drive:

  • Almost seven in 10 said they are more likely to purchase a vehicle that includes technology to alert you if someone is in your blind spot, while six in 10 said they are more likely to buy one with a rear view camera.
  • Nine in 10 said they are more comfortable in a car with blind spot alert technology (and 61 percent are much more comfortable with it).
  • Most L.A. residents described blind spot alert technology as “useful” (63 percent) and “safe” (52 percent). Nearly 90 percent of L.A. residents said they would feel more comfortable driving a car with a rear view camera – 52 percent say they would be much more comfortable 6 in 10 described rear view cameras as “useful” – nearly half described the cameras as “safe.”

Ford Smart Mobility is the company’s plan to take it to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and big data. Ford  hosted a panel discussion moderated by Susan Carpenter, motor critic at The Orange County Register and The Wheel Thing contributor at KPCC-FM in Santa Monica with:

  • Mike Tinskey, director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure, Ford Motor Company.
  • Claire Bowin, city planner, Los Angeles City Planning Department.
  • Hilary Norton, executive director, Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic (FAST).
  • Brian Taylor, director, UCLA Institute for Transportation Studies.

Ford noted that to stay connected while in motion, SYNC 3, Ford’s new communications and entertainment system, features faster performance and conversational voice recognition, along with an available intuitive smartphone-like touch screen.

To improve today’s driving experience, Ford  introduced driver-assist and semi-autonomous technologies such as active park assist to help drivers parallel and perpendicular park more easily. Driver-assist technologies include lane-keeping aid to help drivers stay in their lane and BLIS, which alerts drivers to vehicles detected entering their blind spots.

Ford offers more vehicle nameplates in the United States with active park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning with lane-keeping aid and blind spot monitoring than any other manufacturer – according to automotive research firm SBD.

Ford will demonstrated its new Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature that will be available on the 2016 F-150. The technology helps to ease the anxiety level of backing a trailer – which can be a challenging task for the novice and tricky even for those with trailering experience.

Ford also showed its electric bicycle prototypes that fold easily into Ford vehicles, and integrate seamlessly with the MoDe:Link app, which can be paired with a smartwatch. The bike has “no sweat” mode, which increases electric pedal assist based on heart rate – ensuring a rider gets to his or her destination without breaking a sweat. The app also provides safety notifications. Hazards, such as potholes ahead, are signaled through vibrating.

The event was not as large scale as the Ford Eco Boost Challenge which we attended. We wanted to see Ford SYNC demos at the challenge, unfortunately we received notice of this event too late to attend.