Category Archives: Ford Technology

Ford Developing New Pothole Mitigation System

The modern automobile industry has seen a number of new safety and technology innovations just within the past few years. It seems like there’s a driver alert sensor for just about everything, from impending collisions to pedestrians passing behind your vehicle while backing up. However, Ford is taking it even further, developing a new Pothole Mitigation System in order to prolong the life of your tires and prevent the shock of hitting a pothole head-on, at full speed.

Pothole Mitigation System

So what will this system do exactly? Experts at Ford pointed out that swerving to avoid potholes is not always possible, even though the system will make use of exterior cameras that monitor the ground and display pothole information to the driver. In the situations where hitting the pothole is just unavoidable, the mitigation system will automatically adjust the vehicle’s suspension in order to lessen the bump and reduce its severity.

Potholes are one of the few road issues that self-driving vehicles struggle with, so investing in tech that can sense potholes might be a good plan for the future. Plus, considering a 2016 survey that states that a staggering 39% of drivers are affected by potholes, we at Nick Nicholas Ford think adding a Pothole Mitigation System to the vehicles we sell is a great idea!

2016 Ford C-Max - regenerative braking

How Regenerative Braking Works in Hybrid Cars

2016 Ford C-Max -  regenerative braking

Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles have a nifty bit of technology called regenerative braking, which is a kind of braking system that charges electric motors when the brakes are engaged. How regenerative braking works is an interesting process that makes this feature an important part of what makes hybrids and EVs work.

In a normal braking system, the kinetic energy of your moving car and the energy produced when the brake pads rub against each other turns into heat when the brakes are engaged and dissipates, wasted. This is why cars get better gas mileage on the freeway than in the city.

However, in cars with regenerative braking, stop and go city traffic actually becomes an asset. This is because regenerative braking, rather than letting the kinetic energy turn to heat and leave, catches the kinetic energy and feeds it back into the battery to recharge it. This is especially important in PHEVs and EVs, since they need regenerative brakes to last longer on the road. For hybrids, it simply influences the amount of fuel used because less energy is wasted.

New Ford Inventions Set Records in 2015

When it comes to innovation, the Ford Motor Company has been a leader from the beginning. Just imagine the automotive industry without the assembly line. Even today, Ford researchers and engineers are constantly working on new projects to advance mobility around the world.

In 2015, Ford employees set a new record for the most new Ford inventions patented in a single year—nearly 6,000 new inventions in 2015. That is a 36% increase over the number in 2014.

These inventions will help make big advancements in mobility across the globe, from autonomous vehicles, wearable devices, electric vehicles, eBikes, navigation, and ride-sharing platforms.

New Ford Inventions

2016 Ford Taurus interior

“Our engineers and scientists are inventing ways to address mobility challenges more than ever – with more patent applications filed this year on car-sharing, wearables, bikes, cloud computing and in other areas to improve consumers’ lives inside and outside the car,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer, in a statement. “By hosting – and participating in – more internal hackathons and innovation labs, our employees are stepping up to show that inventing is a priority for leadership in the industry.”

Here at Nick Nicholas Ford, we are proud to be a part of a company that is fully invested in creating innovations that will lead the automotive industry and make it better, safer, and faster for everyone.

Staying Connected with Ford SYNC Technology

With issues such as texting and driving and whether drivers should be using their cell phones at all coming to the forefront of modern news outlets, it’s clear that a consensus needs to be reached in order to preserve the safety of drivers on the road. In today’s auto industry, more and more vehicles are coming standard with systems that allow for phone connectivity and voice recognition so that car owners can keep their eyes on the road while remaining a voice command away from phone calls. Ford SYNC technology is Ford’s response to this growing need for staying connected.

Ford SYNC technology

Ford SYNC comes in three different types. Basic SYNC technology includes the ability to use voice commands to navigate between streaming music, accessing apps, and making phone calls. SYNC with MyFord Touch allows for all of these same features, plus it comes with a four-quadrant LCD touchscreen, making its menu even more accessible and convenient. On top of everything else, there is the new SYNC3, which is completely redesigned and delivers the next-generation of voice-activation technology. SYNC3 has an all-new design, interface, and features, engineered to be as intuitive as possible.

In addition to hands-free calling, the Ford SYNC technology can also provide 911 Assist, which can call emergency services for assistance even when you can’t, at no extra charge. Plus, SYNC with MyFord Touch and SYNC3 also come with SiriusXM Traffic and TravelLink navigational systems to make your trips safer and more convenient.

For more information about Ford SYNC technology, visit us today here at Nick Nicholas Ford and see it in action.

New Ford Smartwatch Apps are Making Life Easier

Earlier this month Ford announced new Ford Smartwatch apps for use on the Apple Smartwatch and Android Wear devices. These apps would enable drivers of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to check on various factors regarding their car’s status, including battery life and driving scores.

Ford Smartwatch Apps

By downloading an update of the MyFord Mobile app from the App Store of Google Play, you gain access to unique apps designed for the Smartwatch and Wear. The apps are fit to the small screen you’re using whether you have a round or square watch, and from here you have easy access to your car.

You can remotely lock or unlock your doors with the MyFord Mobile app and get directions back to your car. You can also see how much battery your car has used, get notifications when your battery has finished charging, and get a report on how much of your battery you used on your last trip.

These apps have already been immensely helpful in easing use of electric vehicles for drivers, and making them available for Wear and Smartwatch users will make owning a Ford EV simpler than ever.

For more information on this new Ford technology, visit us today at Nick Nicholas Ford!

Ford’s EcoBoost Engine Lineup is Easy to Tune With ProCal

Thanks to advanced technologies and programming, the award-winning EcoBoost engine lineup not only offers great EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings and power, but also superior potential among performance tuners.

Historically, tuning engines has always been about removing components and replacing them with expensive aftermarket parts, all to gain performance at the cost of fuel economy, durability, or even comfort.

EcoBoost Engine Lineup

But thanks to the advent of computer-controlled engines like Ford’s EcoBoost, there is a better solution. Ford Racing now offers ProCal, a device designed for the Focus ST 2.0-liter EcoBoost and Fiesta ST’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost. All you have to do is plug in the device and you will gain access to numerous aspects of the car’s performance, including throttle response, fuel curves, and spark timings.

Using Ford-tested programs, you can expect up to a 90 lb-ft increase in torque for the Focus ST—and the best part is that you’ll still keep your Ford limited warranty. Get started at FordRacing.com and, if you need help figuring things out, feel free to ask us for help at Nick Nicholas Ford!

New Ford SYNC FuelSignal App Could Save You Money at the Pump

Nobody likes paying for gas, so finding ways to keep more money in your pocket and put less in your tank is great. The winners of the recent Connected Car-Connected City App Pursuit at the Los Angeles Auto Show want to do just that.

The contest challenged teams to create a Ford SYNC AppLink-enabled app in line with the contest’s theme. The winner was Team FuelSignal.

Ford-SYNC-FuelSignal-App

“We were very excited to see the innovation all 10 finalists showed in their Ford SYNC AppLink-enabled apps at the Connected Car Expo this week,” said Scott Burnell, global lead, Partner Management, Ford Developer Program, in a statement. “The judges felt the FuelSignal app really captured the spirit of the Connected Car-Connected City App Pursuit.”

With the FuelSignal app, users can sign up to receive discounted fuel prices along with loyalty credits at certain gas stations. When the user’s fuel level in their Ford vehicle is low, the app will send their mobile device a notification with the nearest gas station that offers a discounted price.

While this app isn’t in full development yet, FuelSignal will now move on to the next stage and will continue working with Ford’s Developer Program. They also earned a feature announcement with Ford at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas.

Would you use the FuelSignal app to save money on gas?

Ford Tow Ratings Still Ahead Based on New Standards

Ford and Ram have been locked in a head-to-head battle for months now, each claiming the highest maximum towing ratings for their latest heavy duty trucks. At Nick Nicholas Ford, we sometimes wish everyone could just get along, though we can’t help but notice that it is the consumer who ultimately benefits from the automakers constantly trying to one-up each other.

Ford-tow-ratings

Ford originally claimed a 31,200 pound capacity for its F-450, versus the Ram 3500’s 30,000 lbs., but this was based on internal standards. To make the fight more even, Ford began using the same Society of Automotive Engineers J2807 towing standard that Ram uses. Interestingly, this left the F-450’s max towing capacity at, once again, 31,200 pounds—the same amount Ford was claiming before and still 1,200 pounds ahead of the Ram 3500.

Despite this, Ram continues to claim best-in-class tow ratings, but because Ford tow ratings are higher while using the same standards, we don’t think they’ll be pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes.

“We leave no doubt with customers that the F-450 pickup truck has best-in-class towing of 31,200 pounds—whether tested using our own internal towing standards or SAE J2807,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development.

Ford Introduces New Steering Technology

new-steering-technology

Ford Motor Company is all set to introduce a new technology that would make maneuvering at low speeds and in tight spaces easier. The technology, called ‘Adaptive Steering’, was developed through a partnership with Ford and Takata, an automotive steering and safety systems supplier and one of Ford’s Aligned Business Framework partners.

Today, when you turn your steering wheel, your wheels turn a fixed amount for every turn. This technology would allow the ratio to change and adapt based on driving conditions, allowing your wheels to be more responsive to your steering actions. Adaptive Steering changes constantly with vehicle speed to optimize the steering response in all conditions.

According to a recent ABR article, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development Raj Nair said, “First and foremost, all Ford Motor Company products have to offer a great driving experience. This new steering technology can make any vehicle easier to maneuver and more fun to drive.”

The Adaptive Steering system will use a precision-controlled electric motor actuator located inside the steering wheel to make a vehicle more responsive at slow speeds, and optimizes steering at high speeds to allow for a smooth ride.

Look for the new Adaptive Steering system on select 2015 models, and stop by Nick Nicholas Ford to learn more!