Ford Tests Driverless Vehicles in Snowy Conditions

snowy roadSeveral automakers are currently testing driverless technology. However, Ford Motor Company is going above and beyond to test driverless vehicles in a variety of conditions.

One of the biggest questions about driverless cars is how the sensors and cameras will be able to function in snow or other bad weather. Autonomous vehicles use sensors, cameras, radar, and other technology to pinpoint their location, but what will happen when snow covers the cameras and lane markers?

Ford is working to solve that problem by testing a fleet of driverless Fusion Hybrids on a snow-covered, 32-acre, closed-course testing facility in Ann Arbor. Ford has been working with the University of Michigan to develop special 3D maps. These maps will allow the vehicle to precisely understand the road’s signs and markings no matter what the weather.

Fusion Hybrid

Fusion Hybrid

The 3D maps are created to contain useful information allowing the car to localize, even with snowy conditions. Ford is even hoping to enable the program to recognize when the weather is too rough and stop driving.

Jim McBride, Ford technical leader for autonomous vehicles, said in a statement, “Weather isn’t perfect, and that’s why we’re testing autonomous vehicles in wintry conditions — for the roughly 70% of US residents who live in snowy regions.”

We at Friendly Ford are thankful that we are part of a company that cares about the safety of its customers. Being in Chicago, we know about snow and are excited to see the testing of driverless vehicles in snowy conditions!

Ford Motor Company Climbs to Number 2 on Green Brands List

Ford Motor Company is known for a lot of things. Producing excellent vehicles, generous donations to charity, a rich American history…  just to name a few.  It’s also known for being one of the most environmentally friendly brands. Well it’s now recognized as being even more green than ever before.

Ford just climbed 13 spots in the new report ranking companies mainly based on what the public’s perception of the brand’s sustainable or green practices. Ford has now rose all the way up to number 2 on list of 2013 Best Global Green Brands report by the consulting firm Interbrand.

The popularity of all Ford’s Hybrid cars and products such as it’s popular EcoBoost engine was enough to bolster Ford all the way up to number 2.  “In 2012, Ford (#2) moved sustainability from the periphery to the center of its business strategy,” according the the report.

Friendly Ford offers vehicles such as green vehicles such as the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Fusion Energi, C-Max Hybrid, and C-Max Energi that helped the Ford Motor Company climb all the way up to number 2 on the list. Stop by Friendly Ford today to check out these green and very fuel efficient hybrid cars.

Six Fords Named Best Cars for the Money

For the second year in a row, US News & World Report recognizes Ford as the automotive leader, as six Ford vehicles were named as “2013 Best Cars for the Money.” US News & World Report determines the winner in each of 21 categories based on expert opinion, reliability attributes, and vehicle safety.

With its stylish looks, smart driving technology, 285 horsepower, and unsurpassed highway fuel economy, the 2013 Ford Edge was chosen as the best 2-row midsize SUV. Another stylish SUV that delivers the best fuel economy in its class is the 2013 Ford Escape which was named the best compact SUV for the money.

As far as cars, the vehicle that has been generating the most buzz is the innovative Ford Fusion, which boasts a top safety rating from the NHTSA and was named by The Car Connection as the “Best Car to Buy 2013.” So it’s no surprise the Fusion was named as one of the best cars for the money in midsize category. In addition to that, the Fusion Hybrid was named best hybrid car thanks to its best in class fuel economy of 47 city/47 highway/47 combined mpg.

One of the best selling cars in the world, the Ford Focus was named the best compact car and the always popular Ford Taurus was picked as the best large car for the money.

All six of the 2013 Best Cars for the Money are available at Friendly Ford. Come over today and check them out!