Ford, Microsoft Highlight Focus Electric Technologies as the Future
Ford Focus Electric which is gas-free model has arrived at dealerships. Ford and Microsoft executives are highlighting the car’s connectivity and recharging technologies as the innovations required to address global transportation challenges which include congestion and oil dependency. The executives are meeting up with other technology leaders at the Future in Review Conference (FiRe), which is a forum to discuss issues like global gridlock which could occur in major cities if urbanization and vehicle ownership growth increases unchecked. The Focus Electric takes half the time to charge compared to the Nissan Leaf due to the car’s higher capacity on-board charger.
“Ford and Microsoft continue to demonstrate the importance of marrying automobiles with creative technologies such as the features built into SYNC and MyFord Mobile that help people stay connected to their digital lives,” says Sheryl Connelly, Ford Global Trends manager. “These innovations will be even more important in a future where urbanization and growing vehicle ownership could literally grind major cities to a halt around the world.” Ford and Microsoft released the first generation of SYNC in 2007 and it has been an instant hit with customers since the time it was released. SYNC with MyFordTouch offers many features including voice commands, navigation, entertainment and climate functions.
Ben Smith, director of program management for Windows Embedded at Microsoft said, “From using simple voice commands to navigate to the nearest coffee shop or manage the interior temperature, to using the vehicle’s on-board technology to find the most economical place to charge up, Microsoft and Ford are changing the way people interact with their vehicle.” Focus Electric customers have access to MyFordMobile which is accessible by smartphone or web-based interface to perform key tasks. It keeps track of when participating local utilities switch to lower-off peak charging rates, thus minimizing the cost by letting owners charge their vehicles at the cheapest utility rates. This app will be available for use on most smartphone platforms including Android, Blackberry and iPhone.