At CES and the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Ford will show off its next generation navigation system, initially to be made available on the all-new Lincoln MKS. The system's 40GB hard drive will include the Gracenote database, which will automatically tag any CDs ripped to the drive, something Gracenote already does in the Cadillac CTS and Lexus LS 600h. But Gracenote goes an extra mile with Ford, providing cover art for music playing in the system. Users will be treated to a scan of the album cover art while tracks from the album play. Further, the system incorporates Gracenote'… Read more
Ford confirmed Thursday that the company is considering an offer to sell its Jaguar and Land Rover subsidiaries to Tata Motors of India.
"Ford is committed to focused negotiations at a more detailed level with Tata Motors concerning the potential sale of the combined Jaguar-Land Rover business," Lewis Booth, an executive vice president at Ford, said in a statement.
"There is still a considerable amount of work to do, and while no final decision has been made, we will proceed with further substantive discussions with Tata Motors over the forthcoming weeks with a view to … Read more
Microsoft's product marketing tends to be fairly dull. Even inside the company, its methods for naming, marketing, and packaging have been the subject of scorn and derision.
So, that makes this commercial for its Sync in-car entertainment system all the more noteworthy.
The company illustrates the power of the system's voice controls, by showing what happens when you take those commands beyond the car.
It's a good approach to explaining a whole new type of technology--something that is often tough--just ask TiVo.
What do you think? Does it make you want to get the system, or does … Read more
Hope you didn't buy that Mustang Bullitt for the Ali MacGraw in your life just yet.
Ford announced it's now offering a factory-installed panoramic glass roof option for both the Steve McQueen-inspired Bullitt and the Shelby GT500KR. The glass roof, as an option for its V-6 Mustang and Mustang GT, will become available in the summer of 2008, according to Ford.
To be clear, this is not a hardtop convertible, but a fixed glass roof option. It will be available for $1,995.
And, as no one wants an over-heated driver, the glass roof is made of tinted … Read more
More good news for those of us who have been forced to divide our attention between the road and what seems like an ever-increasing number of gadgets and other in-car distractions: automotive voice-activation technology is becoming more widespread.
On Thursday, U.S.-based company Nuance announced that it will be putting its text-to-speech technology in select new Ford models in Europe. The system powers Ford's "Human Machine Interface" (HMI), which allows drivers to make calls, enter destinations into the navigation system, control the audio system, and change the inside temperature using simple voice commands.
For example, a … Read more
Microsoft and Ford bought a lot of advertisements on NFL football broadcasts over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend. The companies are pushing Sync, which is the latest outgrowth of Microsoft's decade-long effort to provide software for use in automobiles.
In this case, Microsoft might actually succeed. Simplicity is the key: unlike past scenarios floated for the Windows Automotive platform, Sync isn't intended to help control your car (leading to the inevitable blue screen jokes) or connect to the Internet or serve as the back-end for an in-car control panel. Instead, it gives you voice command over Bluetooth-enabled phones and … Read more
Do good things or bad things come in threes? Ford hopes for good, unveiling the second in a series of three Ford Verve concepts at the Auto Guangzhou show in China. Ford put its first Verve concept, a three-door hatchback, on the stage at this year's Frankfurt auto show. The new Verve concept is a four-door model, and Ford says it embodies its new "kinetic" design language, as did the earlier Verve concept. The center stack controls use a configuration similar to that found in the new Mondeo, although Ford designers also took cues from cell phone … Read more
The iconic car movie "Bullitt" approaches its 40th anniversary, and Ford has a special Mustang just for the occasion. Get a first look from the floor at the 2007 LA Auto Show.
It has become de rigeur for automakers to pay lip service to a future of alternative fuels and increased efficiency, and Ford's CEO Alan Mulally chipped in his two cents here on the first day of the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. Aside from his commitment to deliver a line of vehicles that "people do want and people do value", Mulally said that he wanted to "start a discussion" about sustainability, fuel economy, and energy security. In the near term, Mulally said Ford plans to offers more turbo-charged gasoline direct-injection engines, lighter-weight cars, and new … Read more
Daimler and Ford Motor are partnering on a privately held company to develop automotive fuel cell technology, both companies announced Thursday.
The companies plan to buy the automotive fuel cell business unit of Ballard Power Systems, a British Columbia-based supplier of hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles. From that asset, they plan to start a private company, according to a joint statement.
Daimler will own a 50.1 percent share of the new company, Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC), the companies said. Ford Motor will own a 30 percent share, and 19.9 percent will be owned by Ballard.
AFCC will … Read more