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!
Passing along instructions and standards for excellence to one person is difficult enough; sharing them with multiple companies is another. In alignment with its mission to recognize and spread sustainability practices, Ford is offering a toolkit as part of its Partnership for A Cleaner Environment (PACE) program for participating suppliers. The toolkit includes over 350 leading practices contained within categories for energy, water, air emissions and waste. Learn more about Ford's initiatives in the video below:
The aforementioned practices would take too long to list in their entirety, but include initiatives that range in size - like reducing compressed air usage in manufacturing, or swapping LED lightbulbs for incandescent ones. One notable leading practice, dubbed Energy Treasure Hunts, show suppliers how to tap experts in their own facilities as invaluable resources, resulting in a greater number of identified opportunities for sustainability. The Blue Oval encourages suppliers to share their findings and support the program's cycle of sharing.
“We are serious about protecting lives and preserving the planet, and sharing best practices with Ford helps further that mission to sustain the environment globally,” Jim Laney, DENSO's senior manager of Safety, Health and Environment in North America, said of his company's participation in the PACE program.
Of course, since Ford is a pioneer amongst automakers for sustainability practices, PACE is only one cog in the chain. Ford's overall strategy also encompasses human rights initiatives, working conditions and more. Learn more at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today!
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!
At the Chicago Assembly Plant - home of the Ford Taurus and Explorer, which are also available at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington - water sustainability is the name of the game through 2020, thanks to Ford's recently updated manufacturing water strategy.
In efforts to increase the level of sustainability, a pair of projects were recently set into motion; the first increases the re-use of water in the plant's pre-treatment system, and the second integrates a cooling tower side-stream electrolysis system to eliminate magnesium and calcium. Water is typically used in vast amounts for pre-treatment baths, as do the cooling towers that are common at automotive manufacturing plants. In line with the strategy, the plant is currently developing new processes to re-use up to 90 percent of water that's pulled for the pre-treatment process. Learn more about Ford's initiative in the video below:
According to Andy Hobbs, the Environmental Quality Office director, Ford is one of only 24 companies out of 600 to receive an “A” grade by CDP for its water allocation initiatives. The Chicago Assembly Plant example is only one of multiple Ford applications of its sustainability strategy.
Learn more and test-drive the Ford Taurus and Explorer at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today!
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.
The advancement of voice recognition technology has made leaps and bounds in recent years, making its integration into Ford products that much more streamlined and effortless. The next five years are already predicted by experts to usher in the optimization of voice recognition, which will serve to refine one's driving experience in a multi-dimensional fashion.
Adding to the anticipated fun is Apple CarPlay™, which will make voice recognition and customization even more optimized across devices. Apple's technology will simplify the process to use a car's touch screen as an iPhone interface, allowing access to Siri Eyes-Free voice controls and Apple's suite of applications.
But preliminary research and reports suggest that within two years' time, voice control systems may be able to preempt a driver's needs - both vehicle and non-vehicle related - and pose questions such as "Would you like to place an order to-go at your favorite fast food restaurant?" Other recognition features are slated to be less invasive and more intuitive.
The future of connectivity and mobility offers plenty to ponder. Stay tuned to learn more, or simply stop by Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today.