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Ford Expands on Mobility Plans at CES

Google option still in the works.

by on Jan.05, 2016

Ford CEO Mark Fields holds a downsized Velodyne LIDAR "puck" that will be used on Fusion autonomous vehicle prototypes.

Ford Motor Co. outlined a far-reaching step into the future during a keynote speech by CEO Mark Fields marking the opening of the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The maker is putting “one foot into the future,” said Fields, as it expands from traditional automotive manufacturing into new areas of “mobility,” such as ride and car-sharing. Among a variety of projects announced by Fields, Ford will partner with Amazon to incorporate the cloud-based voice assistant, Alexa into its vehicles. That would allow a driver to not just open a garage door but turn on lights and adjust the thermostat by voice command.

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The Tuesday morning event notably included no mention of a widely anticipated tie-up between Ford and Google, even though the automaker announced a major expansion in its own autonomous vehicle program. But CEO Fields left the door open to a later announcement, stressing that Ford is talking with “a variety of other potential partners.”


Automakers Turning CES into a High-Tech Car Show This Year

Ford, Chevrolet, BMW, Toyota, VW and others to make major announcements.

by on Jan.04, 2016

VW offers a hint of the electric microbus it's expected to unveil at CES this coming week.

You’ll be hearing plenty about the so-called “Internet of Things,” and there’ll be rooms full of next-generation TVs and digital cameras. But some of the biggest headlines to come out of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week will be made by automotive manufacturers.

Ford is expected to announce a major alliance with Google; General Motors will reveal the production version of its long-range electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Bolt and, among other announcements to come from CES, Volkswagen will unveil a new battery-electric minivan.


Many of those announcements might, in years past, have been made just a week later, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but “The traditional approach, having all new cars debut at a traditional car show, has been eroding,” said Stephanie Brinley, senior analyst with IHS Automotive. “And CES is part of that erosion.”


Ford and Google Deal to Go Beyond Autonomous Vehicles

Partnership will expand Ford’s push into alternative mobility solutions.

by on Jan.04, 2016

Ford is just beginning its own on-road autonomous vehicle testing at its Silicon Valley R&D center.

(c) 2016

While last-minute snags could yet delay a formal announcement, Ford Motor Co. and Google are planning to reveal the details of an extensive new partnership during a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

The expansive alliance will provide Ford access to Google’s cutting-edge autonomous vehicle technology, but several sources involved in the program told that the deal will go well beyond self-driving cars and explore ways in which connected car technology can create alternative mobility solutions, a pet project of Ford CEO Mark Fields.

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Other high-tech providers will join the alliance and, among other things, Ford will be able to test its new technologies at a 1,000-acre proving grounds being set up in North Carolina, according to those sources.


Cars Driving the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show

From Auto Park systems to brain wave monitors, auto-mobile is the next big thing at the 2015 CES Show.

by on Jan.05, 2015

Mercedes offers a tease of the concept car it will introduce at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

When Mercedes-Benz unveils its new autonomous vehicle concept car this month it will skip the big Detroit Auto Show, turning instead to Las Vegas for the debut.

Like a number of its rivals, the German maker is planning a big presence at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. The largest annual event in Sin City, CES is typically a venue populated by TV, smartphone, computer and electronic gadget makers. But it has also become a major staging ground for the auto industry.

Going Mobile!

“The last three years have really accelerated the role” of the automobile at the electronics show, notes Egil Juliussen, the director of research for the automotive technology group at think tank IHS. It’s because technology is becoming more and important in the car, he adds, noting “people want to use all of their mobile electronics in their cars.”


Carmakers Connect at CES

An overview of the event's automotive high-tech news.

by on Jan.08, 2014

BMW's Autonomous 6-Series shows its stuff at CES.

While the Detroit Auto Show has traditionally been the New Year’s kickoff for the automotive industry, the annual Consumer Electronics Show has increasingly upended that role, this year eight different manufacturers trumpeting their presence in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, hoping to connect with a new audience.

This year’s CES saw brands like Audi, Chevrolet, Toyota and Kia cover a wide spectrum of high-tech topics, from advanced lighting to in-car entertainment, as well as what has become one of the most talked-about technologies in some time: autonomous driving.

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Audi even crossed the Atlantic Ocean with some 30 European journalists to present their news ahead of the Detroit auto show, while Mercedes and BMW also brought representatives of the automotive media to Las Vegas. Those, who have never attended CES were taken aback by the size of the largest trade show in Las Vegas, one that hosts 3,200 exhibitors who distribute some 20,000 new products. They will likely never complain of crowded car shows anymore.


Autonomous Cars, In-Vehicle Infotainment Steer New Direction at CES

Automakers hope to turn the car into a digital showpiece.

by on Jan.08, 2013

Ford Chief Technology Officer Paul Masarenas at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

Want your friends to get a Glympse of what you’re up to? That’s easy if you’re using the Glympse smartphone app and driving a Ford product equipped with the maker’s latest-generation Sync infotainment system.  With the touch of a button and a simple voice command, the technology will allow a driver to send out a bulletin alerting friends where you are – and where you’re heading.

“We’re providing drivers with a rich, real-time and hands-free way to share where they are,” explains Brian Bryan Trussel, the CEO of Glympse, which is showing off its new software – and its partnership with Ford at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

CES is the largest trade show in the country and this year organizers are reporting record turnout at an even featuring 3,250 exhibitors spread out across 1.9 million square feet of exhibition space at the Las Vegas Convention Center. And that doesn’t include spin-off gatherings scattered all across Sin City.


Traditionally, the show has focused on televisions, audio systems, computers and smartphones, but in recent years automotive technology has come to play a more important role. More than a dozen different automakers have staked out a presence at the 2013 CES, along with scores of hardware suppliers, app makers and other vendors looking to make inroads into the transportation industry.


GM’s New App Turns Smartphones into Virtual Key

New app uses OnStar to access vehicle functions.

by on Jul.22, 2010

Well, does this have anything to do with selling cars? Comments requested.

The automotive world is going smartphone app crazy.

The latest to join the fray? General Motors will roll out smartphone apps – specialized apps geared for customers of its four remaining U.S. brands – this fall.

GM will release a new app for smartphones that will allow owners to access all of the functions of a traditional key fob. No longer will the car owner have to be within a certain distance to control vehicle.

Apps, Apt or Otherwise!

Say you park the car at the mall, but realize you forgot to lock it while shopping at Aeropostale. Just log in and send a remote lock signal to the vehicle.

This could also eliminate many of the calls subscribers make to have their vehicle unlocked by an OnStar advisor. So long as you don’t lock your phone in the car, you could just unlock it yourself.


Ford Syncs With Smartphone Apps

Pandora, Twitter and other "apps" will be available to motorists.

by on Jan.07, 2010

The latest generation of Ford's Sync infotainment system will allow a motorist to access smartphone apps including Pandora, Stitcher and Twitter.

If “electrification” was the hot topic of 2009, this year, the buzzword is “connectivity.”  Even as more and more states wrestle with bans on in-car calling and texting, automakers are looking for new ways to keep motorists linked to the outside world.

“People have become addicted to connectivity,” suggests Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s global product development chief.

The Detroit maker took a plunge into the digital pool, several years ago, when it launched its new Sync infotainment system.  Developed in cooperation with Microsoft, Sync is a voice-activated package of audio and navigation services that can be voice operated.

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But in sharp contrast with General Motors’ OnStar, Sync is a relatively open system – “the electronic equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife,” according to Kuzak — which means it’s easy to update and add features that weren’t necessarily developed by or for Ford.