Ford has announced that it is the first automaker to make plastics and foam from captured CO2 carbon dioxide .The materials will be finding their way into Ford vehicles in the next handful of years, and will help reduce petroleum usage by millions of pounds every year.This marks the latest biomaterial development for Ford, which already utilizes some other similarly enviro-friendly materials in its vehicles.At the present, Ford s foam is made from up to 50-percent CO2-based polyols, and has been tested to meet automotive standards.According to the auto maker, this foam could be used in the company s cars within the next five years, being found under the hood and within seating.Ford s Senior Tech Leader of Sustainability Debbie Mielewski said:Ford is working aggressively to lower its environmental impact by reducing its use of petroleum-based plastic and foam.
And now we've been formally introduced to Uber's first self-driving car, currently being tested on the roads of Pittsburgh.Hardly the 'car that looks like it should be driven by a superhero', as claimed in the post, the driverless Uber car would be considered relatively unassuming were it not for the array of radars, laser scanners, and high resolution cameras affixed to the roof.The company also says in the post: "While Uber is still in the early days of our self-driving efforts, every day of testing leads to improvements."Right now we re focused on getting the technology right and ensuring it s safe for everyone on the road — pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers."This is the first time the San Francisco-based ride-hailing firm has made its self-driving ambitions official, although its efforts in Pittsburgh have hardly been a secret up to this point.While personal driverless cars are still a long way off, many companies, including Ford, have made clear their view that the first autonomous vehicles to be released are likely to be for-hire vehicles.
Last week, the US patent office issued 6,754 patents.The heads-up also displays shot statistics for each one of the multiple trajectories within the field of view of the user.Eventually, autonomous vehicles will require no passenger interaction beyond, e.g., selecting a destination, leaving passengers to focus on non-driving-related tasks.NASA wants to predict earthquakesPowerful electric currents are generated deep inside the Earth causing low frequency electromagnetic signals that have long been reported in connection with impending earthquake activity.In addition to predicting earthquakes, this magnetometer can also detect global lightning activity, storms, global temperature variations, geomagnetic activities on other nearby planets and detection of underground nuclear tests.An external accessory is magnetically couple to the ball.
I remember when Ford unveiled the second-generation Fusion or fourth-generation Mondeo for those across the Atlantic for the 2013 model year – it was drop-dead gorgeous.To sample the freshened Fusion line-up, I packed my bags and returned to southern California – where Darren Murph drove the 2017 Ford Escape last month – to spend a day driving a trio of Fusion's through twisty roads that that would make a Toyota Camry cry.There's no denying the 2.0-liter turbo motor provides extra grunt, but I don't think it's worth the extra cost and a 2 4 mpg FWD and AWD fuel economy penalty.It doesn't dance as rhythmically as the lighter Mazda 6 on windy roads, but precise steering and road feel lets you gently feel the imperfections in the road while carving corners comfortably.However, I find the Accord seats painful for my 5-foot 7-inch and 195-pound frame.I recently drove the Chevrolet Malibu and liked the MyLink infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, but I felt it was more like a Camry with sharper styling and better technology than a thrilling drive.
That, and the software algorithms developed by Georgia Tech, enables the car to game out over 2,000 projections of where it'll head in the next 2.5 seconds.The system whose specs have been published for general use performs this calculation 60 times a second and puts the power down as soon as possible for maximum velocity.In a paper at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, the team detailed how the cars – cosponsored by the US Army Research Office – were able to learn how to handle different tracks via trial and error."However, by merging statistical physics with control theory, and utilizing leading-edge computation, we can create a new perspective, a new framework, for control of autonomous systems."While the research may help keep passengers in autonomous cars safe in difficult driving conditions, it'll be of little help in persuading Congress to allow self-driving cars on US roads.So the prospect of digital Top Gear presenters bombing around the roads in chipped robo-cars might not be seen as helpful to the cause.
The new Focus RS packs almost 350 horsepower, is four-wheel drive and has a button for 'Drift mode'.A car that brings four-wheel drive to the Focus for the first time, and has almost 350 horsepower, 'Drift mode', and so many awards and accolades that Ford's mantelpiece needs reinforcing.In fairness, my first few hours with the RS involved driving across central London on a weekday evening, followed the next day by a trip 200 miles north to Manchester.Switched into Sport mode sharper throttle, more antisocial-but-addictive pops and bangs from the exhaust, even firmer suspension , the car came alive.The quick steering just two turns lock to lock talks clearly to you through every corner and weights up beautifully as you point the front towards each apex – which you will hit every single time because the grip simply beggars belief.Ford Focus RS 2016 specs:2.3-litre, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine345 horsepower and 470Nm torque0-62mph 100km/h in 4.7 secondsTop speed of 165mphPriced from: £31,000Price as reviewed: £35,135
FORDThe cradle of American automotive innovation has in the past decade migrated 2,000 miles from Detroit to Silicon Valley, where autonomous vehicles and other advanced technology is coming to life.If Senate Bills 995, 996, 997, and 998 all pass as written, they d represent a substantial update of Michigan s 2013 law that allowed the testing of autonomous vehicles in limited conditions.He says lawmakers clearly want to make the state ready for the commercial application of autonomous tech.In contrast, California, home of Silicon Valley, recently proposed far more restrictive rules that would require human drivers be ready to take the wheel, and ban commercial use of autonomous tech.The legislation says the automated driving system is the legal operator, but, Smith says, It s not clear what this means or to what it extends, and it will require substantial clarification.In contrast, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration s announcement in February that it would count computers as human drivers is a less dramatic legal move that allows Google to move ahead with its plan to get rid of the steering wheel and pedals, without thinking about liability concerns just yet.That s no surprise, since the bills reserve the right to operate on-demand robo-fleets for motor vehicle manufacturers.
View photosMoreHttps%3a%2f%2fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f102479%2fdsc03869RANCHOS PALOS VERDES, California — Ford wants to innovate, but not at the expense of its customers and core business.That's the core takeaway from Ford CEO Mark Fields' sit down on Tuesday with Recode's Kara Swisher and Pete Kafka at the annual Code Conference."When Swisher pressed, Ford demurred and said "We talk with everybody."Ford is, Fields noted, working on raising its game in the software space, though his products sound, increasingly, likerolling computers.Image: LANCE ULANOFF/MASHABLEAs for the changing landscape of car ownership, Fields believes there's still significant headroom in the traditional automotivebusiness, especially because of the massive growth of the middle class outside the U.S. and the continuing need for personally-owned vehicles outside urban areas.When asked about Tesla Founder and CEO Elon Musk, he said, "I think Elon has done a very good job of raising the awareness and support for electric vehicles....They've done very good things in terms of how to use tech to to interact with customers."
Mark Fields, the CEO of venerable auto maker Ford, revealed how new technology like autonomous vehicles is playing an ever increasing role in its strategy for the future.As reported by CNBC, Fields recently participated in an on-stage interview at the 2016 Code Conference where new connected technology was the recurring theme.Fields said that Ford is striving to incorporate a startup mentality into its operations, with the 113-year old company going so far as to open a Silicon Valley field office to be closer to the high tech action.Ford is reportedly in partnership discussions with various companies including Uber and Google, though Fields refused to elaborate, saying only we are talking with everybody.Indeed, Google has said publicly that it does not plan to focus on automobile manufacturing, but would rather partner with big car makers like Ford instead.One area of concern for the emerging self-driving vehicle segment is security and the fear of hackers hijacking connected cars.
The Ford Focus RS is among the hottest of hot hatchbacks, and for the first time ever, it s coming to the United States.That s because the RS 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine may already be running near maximum output.Based on the engine used in the Ford Mustang, it currently produces a fairly staggering 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.Engineers may not be able to get extra power out of that engine, but Ford is still reportedly aiming for a sub-4.0 second 0-to-62 mph time.Motor predicts everything from polycarbonate windows to composite body panels.The current RS doesn t exactly fall short on performance, so the RS500 should be quite a beast.
The Blue Oval took a gamble when they completely redesigned the F-150 for 2015 with a new all-aluminum body, and the company s recent focus on turbocharging finds a boosted V6 in a place of the naturally aspirated V8s that are still typically found in rivals top of the line pickups.Now that Ford s venture into modernizing the F-150 s platform and drivetrain lineups has proven effective they ve set their sights on the truck s feature set, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in the new Limited model.Massaging seats might seem incongruous with a Class IV trailer hitch at first glance, but after spending some time with the F-150 Limited and its myriad of clever and useful functionality as well as its coddling amenities , I have little doubt that many well-heeled buyers will be smitten with this lavishly appointed 4 4.Form and functionMotivating the F-150 Limited is a 3.5-liter twin turbocharged Ecoboost V6 that outputs 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.The Ford gearbox simply isn t as eager to swap cogs, and the lack of two additional gears means the F-150 is likely leaving some fuel economy and performance on the table with this older transmission.My test vehicle was optioned with White Platinum Metallic paint, a 3.55 electronic locking axle, box side steps, a tailgate step, a 36-gallon fuel tank, Active Park Assist, wheel well liner and a spray-in bed liner.
Was the 2013 Shelby GT500 with 662hp quicker to 60 mph and through a quarter-mile?In the Shelby GT350/R, this translates to an 8,250 rev limiter and one of the most vicious sounds of any production vehicle.Both the standard GT350 and more aggressive R designation produce the same power, use the same 6-speed Tremec manual transmission, and route their horses to the rear wheels through a Torsen limited-slip differential.Both cars also employ Ford s MagneRide magnetic dampers, 15.5-inch front brake rotors with 6-piston Brembo calipers, 14.9-inch rear discs with 4-piston calipers, and lowered ride heights.Visually, you can pick out the R from its larger chin splitter, carbon fiber rear wing, red interior accents, and lack of rear seating.While three laps is hardly enough to draw firm conclusions about how a vehicle handles—and we ll have more significant time with the GT350 next month—it was enough to see Ford s engineering brilliance shine through.
Next week s 24 Hours of Le Mans is a big one for Ford.It marks the 50th anniversary of the Blue Oval s storied victory over Ferrari at the French endurance race, and Ford hopes to make a big splash this year with its new GT.This marks its first season of competition, and conventional wisdom holds that any race win, let alone the grueling and hyper-competitive 24 Hours of Le Mans, should be out of reach for a newbie team.The GT is racing on both sides of the Atlantic, including the U.S.-based IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and the European FIA World Endurance Championship WEC .For Le Mans, the two teams will unite for a four-car shot at glory.The GT40 was able to claim overall wins, but today s GT can only hope for a class win in the category for production cars; it doesn t have the speed to compete with the top-level hybrid prototypes from Audi, Porsche, and Toyota.
Tu-Automotive explained that, on the one hand, Volvo was deserving of the award because its research covers all aspects of in-car tech, including safety, autonomous driving, insurance, V2X, and big data.Ford, on the other hand, deserved to share first-place honors for its efforts to bring tech to the masses.The judges hailed the Swedish carmaker s Pilot Assist technology as the most advanced deployment of autonomous features, adding that the system is highly innovative.The award for Best Insurance Telematics Product/Service went to AXA Global Direct France s YouDrive program, which was judged to be both ambitious and innovative.Read more: For a fatality-free future, Volvo wants you to take your hands off the wheelFinally, Julia Steyn, General Motors vice president of urban mobility programs, was named Influencer of the Year.Notably, she leads the team in charge of Maven, GM s recently-established ride-sharing service.
While the Chevy's bed is constructed from roll-formed, high-strength-steel, the F-150's bed is made from stamped aluminum.Though aluminum is lightweight, which aides in the Ford's fuel efficiency, it's also less resilient than steel.In spite of this, Ford has claimed its military-grade aluminum bed met or exceeded durability testing.In both laboratory testing and 26 real-world and demonstrations, Chevy quite literally punched holes in Ford's resiliency claims.Stepping the tests up a notch, Chevy dropped 55 landscaping blocks from a height of five feet into the trucks.At this point, I am sure there are Ford employees having aneurisms somewhere in Dearborn, Michigan.
The work is exciting, Mr. Halder said in an interview about six months after joining Faraday, where he says he has more responsibility than at the blue chip companies he left.Ford is at the center of a ferocious hiring battle now pitting traditional car makers against startups out to force a shift to electric and autonomous-driving vehicles.General Motors Co. GM -1.02 % recently paid more than $1 billion for autonomous-driving company Cruise Automation, and acquired Sidecar Technologies 20-person team that was working on ride-hailing services.In April, Uber Technologies Inc. hired Ford s Sherif Marakby, who oversaw the car maker s hybrid- and electric-car engineering, to head its global vehicle programs.Startups with hiring ambitions mirroring Faraday Future s and with financial backing from Chinese investors—including Los Angeles-based Karma Automotive and Atieva Inc.—are trying to fill hundreds of automotive jobs, they said.Starting at GM in the late 1990s, Mr. Leutheuser was lured away in 2010 to work on Tesla s Model S sedan only to return to GM three years later as an engineering group manager.
Increasingly, however, the throb of a high-performance engine is faked or artificially boosted and then piped into a car s cockpit.A new invention developed by Ford for generating engine noise has been lodged with the US Patent and Trademark Office, demonstrating that artificial sounds are now a big global business.In computer design, audio skeuomorphism is usually used to help make new technology explicable to new users or celebrate retro inventions.IComputer-generated noise has plenty of critics, particularly among petrolheads, for whom the fake noise euphemistically named Active Sound Design BMW or Soundaktor VW is the car industry s dirty little secret .There s no demand from consumers and there s no demand from the car industry or lobby groups that I m aware of saying that cars driving around are too noisy, says Willson.Whether the noise is fake or real I don t think it really matters, he says.
The 2016 Ford GT race car right lines up next to the 2004 Ford GT and ahead of the 1966 Ford GT40On 18 June, Ford will line up four of its new GT race cars on the starting grid at Le Mans, with the famous 24-hour, 5,000km race ahead of them.It was 1963 and Henry Ford II, son of the company's founder, attempted to purchase Ferrari, which had won Le Mans in four of the previous five years.Ford GT40s like this one finished first, second and third at the 1966 24 hours of Le MansFord then pumped resources into research and development, turning the mid-sixties into one of the most technologically innovative periods motor racing had ever seen.The GT40 name then disappeared and, because it was never trademarked, fell into the hands of Surrey-based Safir Engineering, which built replica GT40s in the 1980 and 1990s.But as the limited-run supercar was being prepared for sale, Safir Engineering, which was now selling spare parts for original GT40s, wanted $40m £28m for the name.Here, among a collection of everything from the Model T, to the newest Mustang and everything in between, we were greeted by two original GT40s insured for £5m each, but used regularly , two Ford GTs and the GT racer show car.
Ford and its quartet of GTs won t be in the running for an overall win, but the Blue Oval is nonetheless the biggest Le Mans story this year.Basically, it s a case of déjà vu.Grandson of company founder Henry Ford and referred to as The Deuce, Ford s then boss had offered to buy Ferrari in 1963, but Enzo Ferrari went back on the deal.Now that Ford has consolidated its lineup and is selling many of the same cars in both Europe and the U.S., proving that it can understand both markets is more important than ever.The twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is a big change from the V8 engines that powered the last GT and the original GT40.The GT s inaugural season has produced mixed results.
Ford is working towards a one model for all regions program, and while it's taken the company four years to get its larger SUV it's bigger than the Ford Kuga across the Atlantic, it's finally arrived – and it's been worth the wait.Starting at £29,995, the Ford Edge goes up against some pricier competition including the Audi Q5, Volvo XC60 and BMW X5, and it aspires to match its rivals when it comes to the tech it's packing inside.Seats are generous and supportive, while the back row can easily accommodate three adults, let alone 2.5 children.Much like noise-cancelling headphones, these mics can pick up unnecessary noises and drown them out, to a point.The Edge certainly wasn't loud, but I can't say the noise-cancelling smarts were immediately noticeable – until, that was, I returned home and got in my own car.You're not going to get silence – and anyway you wouldn't want to totally drown out the pleasing rumble of that two-litre engine – but Ford has managed to reduce the sound inside, which is always nice.