For Sale By:Dealer
Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Gray
Model: Transit Connect
Trim: AdvanceTrac RSC
Drive Type: No Transmission
Aurora, Illinois, United States
Autonomous cars may still be in their infancy, but more and more big names in the auto industry are diving in head first. Nissan is already making strides with a semi-autonomous Leaf EV and General Motors is planning to offer semi-autonomous tech by 2020. And then there's Google, doing its thing with a fleet of Toyota Prius. Now, Ford is showing off its latest automated effort, a driverless Fusion Hybrid.
Partnering with the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and State Farm Insurance, the project is part of Ford's Blueprint for Mobility, the company's plan for transportation beyond 2025. "The Ford Fusion Hybrid automated vehicle represents a vital step toward our vision for the future of mobility," Chairman Bill Ford said. "We see a future of connected cars that communicate with each other and the world around them to make driving safer, ease traffic congestion and sustain the environment."
The automated Fusion features four LiDAR infrared sensors that scan the road 2.5 million times every second, using a principle similar to the echolocation used by dolphins or bats. Using the infrared light emitted by the LiDAR, the car can draw a picture of everything within 200 feet to create a map of its surroundings. According to Ford, the sensors are able to tell the difference between a paper bag and a small animal from a football field away.
Back in July, a mid-year study from YouGov found Ford to have higher brand perception than any other company in the US. While Ford failed to top the year-end study, it still has plenty to brag about. The final BrandIndex report shows that online retail giant Amazon edged out Ford for the top ranking, while Subway, the History Channel and Lowe's rounded out the top five spots.
For Ford, it's still an improvement from sixth place in the 2012 study, and, more importantly, it dominated other automakers in terms of brand perception with a clear advantage over Toyota, Honda, Chevy and Volkswagen. To determine how well - or not so well - a brand is perceived, YouGov uses a Buzz score that asks respondents whether they've "heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth" and whether it was positive or negative. While it isn't clear how many respondents were included, YouGov does point out that Ford had a strong presence in social media, advertising and newsworthy toward the end of the year.
For more details about the study and the top companies, check out the press release posted below.
Auto enthusiasts love a good debate, whether it's Mustang versus Camaro or Ferrari against Lamborghini. But how about a battle between two very different vintages of classic pickup trucks? In this case, the fight is between a 1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express and a 1933 Ford Model 46 truck with a flathead V8.
The shootout comes courtesy of the internet series Generation Gap, and its concept is super-simple. One guy prefers classics, and the other likes newer rides. They choose a category, pick two vehicles and put them head to head. In this case, neither is exactly modern, though. The Ford is more than old enough to receive Social Security checks, and the Dodge is hardly a young whippersnapper.
Other than both being pickups, these two models were made to serve very different functions. The Li'l Red Express was basically the progenitor of today's muscle trucks, with a big V8 that made it one of the quickest new models in its day (admittedly, 1979 was a rough time for automotive performance). On the other hand, the '33 Ford was just meant to work, with little pretense for anything else. One of the hosts describes it as "the simplest, most difficult" vehicle he's driven because of the tricky double clutchwork necessary to shift gears. Scroll down to watch the video and try to decide which of these two American classics you would rather have in your garage.