You only need to look at a smartphone to realize the usefulness of an Internet connection in a car. And the advent of smartphones is playing a big part in getting automakers to integrate connected features. People used to looking up an address on a smartphone can now do it right in their car's dashboard, and save that address to the navigation system. Other apps that can come in handy on the road, as deemed by these automakers, bring up Internet radio, social networking, and dinner reservations.… Read more
Few countries can boast as vibrant an auto industry as the United States of America. Our Henry Ford revolutionized how cars are built, while quite a few other start-ups participated in the early days of this industry. For decades, the industry was dominated by the Big 3: Ford, Chrysler, and GM. Now, of course, the story is a bit more complicated, with U.S. companies building some cars abroad and some foreign companies running plants here, employing thousands. But this selection of cars represents the most historic United States marques, and one all-American newcomer.… Read more
In the next 12-24 months, luxury vehicles will hit the roads with the driver physically at the wheel, but his mind potentially elsewhere. Audi, BMW, and Mercedes have all demonstrated semi-autonomous "traffic jam assistants" that will do the driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic, lessening the stress of the daily commute. But what about for the equally tense driver of your non-luxury vehicle? Luckily, Ford is working to bring that same frill to the mainstream buyer.
Ford announced in a news statement that it, too, is developing a semi-autonomous system for its vehicles. The "Traffic Jam Assistant" is … Read more
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Given driving feel alone, the Fiesta would likely appeal to a subset of buyers, those who like an inexpensive and nimble car. These buyers would put up with tortured sounds from the engine bay and a sometimes harsh ride in exchange for enhanced response to wheel and gas pedal.
In America, emphasize the sub in that set, as the tradition here has been for wallowy cars with soft suspensions. Enter Sync, which gives the Fiesta a Chinese puzzle of options.
Sync not only gives the car excellent voice command and connectivity with mobile electronics, its AppLink feature opens up an … Read more
One of my favorite convenience features for cars is smart keyless entry and start. This transponder-based system lets you unlock your doors by simply approaching the car, touching the door, and pushing the starter button -- no fumbling with the key fob required thanks to RFID technology.
Ford thinks that if this sort of walk up and unlock technology is good for your car, it should also be good for your laptop, which is why it's announced its Ford Keyfree Login software. After downloading and installing the Chrome extension onto a laptop or desktop computer that features Bluetooth connectivity, … Read more
My perception of Ford Motor is probably similar to most people's. The Mustang was the hallmark car in the '70s. The company suffered the same malaise as other automakers in the '80s, while the '90s saw bigger and bigger SUVs. And, of course, there was the ever-present F-150, either seen as beat-up work truck or shiny suburban boat hauler.
Somewhere along the way Ford's trajectory changed, though, to the point where it is now leading the technology charge in vehicles.
I found out how it all changed from the horse's mouth, as it were, at a speaking … Read more
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This year's International Engine of the Year Awards saw many repeats from 2011, but stealing the show was a new sub-1-liter engine from Ford. Using direct injection and a turbocharger, this 999cc engine manages to generate 123 horsepower, enough for most subcompact and compact cars. And in European test cycles, the engine manages well over 50 mpg.
Despite the economy of Ford's engine, the Green Engine Award went to GM for the range extended electric power train in the Chevy Volt and Opel Ampera.
Here are the various … Read more
Ford owners can now count Mog among the apps available through Sync AppLink in their cars, letting them stream music from customized playlists or artist-based channels. Using the new feature will require a Ford model with the latest version of Sync AppLink installed and a subscription to Mog. According to the release, the Mog integration currently only works on iPhones connected to the car with a cable.
The MOG implementation will let drivers listen to a random selection of songs from a single artist, or they can broaden the selection using the car's tuning knob to include similar artists. … Read more
Ford announced today that some State Farm auto insurance customers may save money on premiums using Sync.
Drive Safe and Save is State Farm's optional mileage-based program that calculates your insurance rate based on the actual number of miles you drive in a six-month period of time. The insurance company generally uses a broad mileage estimate to determine your premium, categorizing drivers as either low mileage or average mileage, with 7,500 miles per year as the cutoff. The DSS program is available in 14 states, and until now was open almost exclusively to OnStar customers and OnStar FMV … Read more