Ford Hits Accelerator on Connected Cars


Ford is working on connected car experiments including parking spot location, remote driving, and autonomous vehicles.

At this year’s CES, Ford announced their Smart Mobility Plan, which brings together autonomous vehicles, mobility, customer experience and Big Data. The company is  conducting over two dozen mobility and connected car experiments across the globe, including:

  • The Big Data Drive, which is collecting driving data from vehicle sensors in 200 vehicles owned by volunteers;
  • Remote Repositioning, which allows someone in a remote location to drive a vehicle using real-time video streamed over LTE wireless;
  • Parking Spotter, which uses sensors to search for open parking spaces and then navigate the driver to them;
  • Painless Parking, which uses plug-in devices to give drivers real-time insights on parking. An app tells them if they are legally parked, directs them to available spaces, and lets them pay meters via their phone.

The company also revealed they have a Ford Fusion Hybrid semi-autonomous vehicle currently being tested. It offers four LiDAR sensors to generate a real-time 3D map of the surrounding area.

Related: “The driverless, IoT connected car is here.”

“We’re already manufacturing and selling semi-autonomous vehicles that use software and sensors to steer into both parallel and perpendicular parking spaces, adjust speed based on traffic flow or apply the brakes in an emergency,” said Raj Nair, Ford chief technical officer and group vice president, Global Product Development. “There will be a Ford autonomous vehicle in the future, and we take putting one on the road very seriously.”

Ford also showed off Sync 3, their new communication and entertainment platform for vehicles with improved speech recognition technology, a smartphone like-screen and high definition graphics. It will be available on new vehicles later this year.

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Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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