Sensing the Future: Ford Issues Predictions for Next Wave of Automotive Electronics Innovation

   Sensing the Future: Ford Issues Predictions for Next Wave of Automotive
                            Electronics Innovation

PR Newswire

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 21, 2012

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

  oFord vehicles including the all-new 2013 Fusion are increasingly equipped
    with sensors that assist drivers with increased awareness
  oSensor fusion, machine learning, and "big data" among the predictions for
    the next wave of Ford research and development

State-of-the-art sensing, computing and communications systems are not only
quickly changing consumer expectations in people's everyday lives, but are
driving innovation in the automotive industry at an incredible pace in
preparation for the future.

"Ford was founded on the innovative spirit of Henry Ford, and the opportunity
today to reinvent the driving experience excites us just as it probably would
have him," said Paul Mascarenas, vice president and chief technical officer of
Ford. "Technology is enabling Ford to bring a new level of awareness and
intelligence that will dramatically enhance our customers' time behind the
wheel."

As CTO, Mascarenas has been leading the team researching and developing new
technologies for Ford vehicles, particularly in the area of driver assistance
and mobile device connectivity.

"The new Fusion sedan demonstrates how we're making the car smarter using
attainable and affordable technology and thus helping create a better driver,"
continues Mascarenas. "Fusion features an unprecedented level of sensors for
its driver assist technologies, machine learning techniques to deliver more
electric-only driving on the hybrids, and innovative graphical interfaces to
help coach drivers to be as fuel efficient as possible."

With more than 145 actuators, 4716 signals, and 74 sensors including radar,
sonar, cameras, accelerometers, temperature and even rain sensors, the 2013
Fusion can monitor the perimeter around the car and see into places that are
not readily visible from the driver's seat. These sensors produce more than 25
gigabytes of data per hour which is analyzed by more than 70 on-board
computers. The actuators combined with signal information from the driver
assist sensors can alert the driver to potential dangers, and actively assist
with parking and lane keeping.

"So far we've just scratched the surface of what is possible," said
Mascarenas. "In the Fusion, we have sensors and actuators that act
independently as part of the assist features. The next phase, currently in
research, involves sensor fusion, where engineers learn how to more
comprehensively characterize the environment by blending multiple signals, and
add externally available information through cloud connectivity."

According to Mascarenas' predictions, top areas for car technology innovation
in the coming years will include:

  o"Big data" analysis and intelligent decision making: Ford is researching
    the use of real-time sensor data – radar and camera-based – that can help
    evaluate external factors affecting driver attention, such as traffic
    congestion, and thus limit potential distractions such as an incoming
    phone call
  oUpgradeable, customizable hardware: Ford's OpenXC research platform looks
    at the potential for open-source, community-driven innovation of
    plug-and-play hardware modules that provide infinite opportunities for
    rapid customization
  oSeamless integration across cloud ecosystems: The success of Ford SYNC®
    has been linked to its open, agnostic platform strategy that has allowed
    for adoption and compatibility with the burgeoning mobile ecosystem; the
    next step is to do the same for the consumer shift toward cloud-based
    services
  oAdvanced machine learning: The new Fusion and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids
    utilize EV+, a feature that learns the typical locations of charging, such
    as home and office, and then automatically maximizes electric-only driving
    mode when nearing those locations
  oBiometrics: Ford is researching biometric sensors, such as those embedded
    in a car seat, to measure stress levels for a more personalized response
    from driver assist technologies, because skill levels – and thus stress –
    can vary in certain situations
  oPrediction: Ford researchers are looking at ways to predict driver
    behavior, such as a driver's destination based on prior history, to help
    optimize and configure vehicle controls for improved performance such as
    better energy management
  oRapid data authentication: Ford sees significant potential in
    vehicle-to-vehicle communications and is actively researching the
    technology globally, including advanced Wi-Fi^® with rapid authentication
    capability so that cars can exchange information quickly and securely,
    helping drivers avoid potential collisions

"All of these areas of research are well within our reach," concludes
Mascarenas. "The key to readiness and implementation in Ford vehicles is
ensuring the customer experience of these technology features trumps the
technology itself."

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company(NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six
continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the
company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides
financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information
regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit
http://corporate.ford.com.



SOURCE Ford Motor Company

Website: http://www.corporate.ford.com
Contact: Alan Hall, +1-313-594-3744, ahall32@ford.com
 
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