Updated 2018 Ford Explorer Revealed

2017 Ford Explorer shown. 2018 Ford Explorer will recieve minor updates to design and technology.

2017 Ford Explorer shown. 2018 Ford Explorer will receive minor updates to design and technology.

The refreshed 2018 Ford Explorer was revealed last month, with updates to the grille and fog lamps as well as five new wheel choices and four new color options: Burgundy Velvet Tinted Clearcoat, Cinnamon Glaze, Platinum Dune Tricoat, and Blue Metallic.

The new Explorer was just refreshed mid-cycle for the 2016 model year, so the updates to the 2018 model are fairly minor, but it does have several technology updates that will have drivers gunning for the new model. The Explorer will have a 4G LTE hotspot with Wi-Fi connectivity that can support up to 10 devices with a range of 50 feet around the vehicle, and drivers can use it to lock and unlock the vehicle remotely as well as start it with the FordPass phone app.

The biggest addition to the Explorer is the Safe and Smart Package, which includes tons of active safety features like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, and more. It will keep the same engine options, which include a 3.5-liter V6, a turbocharged inline-four, and a turbocharged V6.

You can look for the 2018 Ford Explorer in dealerships this fall. Get more information about the upcoming Explorer today at Friendly Ford!

Ford’s Pothole Protection System in Development for 2017 Ford Fusion

potholeOne of the more unfortunate parts of living in a big city is the potholes. Potholes seem to show up on the road all the time. What’s worse is that they can often cause some serious damage to your vehicle! If you’ve ever dreamed of a system that could help you avoid these potholes in the road, Ford has made your dream a reality.

According to a Ford press release, the automaker has developed a pothole protection system for the 2017 Ford Fusion.

Ford’s pothole protection system uses computer-controlled shock absorption to minimize the amount of damage potholes can do to your car.

“The new Fusion V6 Sport substantially reduces the harsh impact potholes often deliver,” says Jason Michener, Ford continuously controlled damping engineering expert. “Our new pothole mitigation technology works by actually detecting potholes and ‘catching’ the car’s wheel before it has a chance to drop all the way into the pothole.”

The 2017 Ford Fusion is just the first vehicle in the Ford lineup to make use of this revolutionary technology. Hopefully, it will spread to other vehicles in the near future in order to help drivers everywhere avoid the constant and irritating potholes on city roads!

2016 Escape Equipped with Ford SYNC 3 Connectivity System

2015 Ford Escape

2015 Ford Escape Interior

The all-new 2016 Escape will be equipped with the Ford SYNC 3 Connectivity System that will provide quicker performance, voice recognition, and a touchscreen that’s easier to use than ever before. The new technology will also debut on the Ford Fiesta.

SYNC 3 will also include AppLink, which provides control over smart phone apps, as well as enhanced 911 Assist, Wi-Fi software updates, and Siri Eyes-Free capability for iPhones.

Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Company Vice President of US Marketing, Sales and Service, said, “SYNC always has been about providing a safer way for our customers to connect their smartphones in order to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”

Ford introduced SYNC to its lineup first in 2007 and continues to update it with the latest technology to provide the best in-car connectivity available. If you’re interested in learning more about Ford’s all-new SYNC 3 technology, visit us at Friendly Ford.

Ford SYNC AppLink System Will Feature New Drive Mode

Ford SYNC AppLink systemDespite all the recent advancements in vehicle connectivity and infotainment systems, few automakers have stopped to consider the risks of distracted driving–until now. Ford recently partnered with Life360 to introduce a modified SYNC AppLink system that keeps the driver safe.

According to Ford, the new system will offer a Drive Mode that will notify people trying to communicate with the driver that they’re busy driving. This new Drive Mode will not only eliminate some driver distraction, but it will also eliminate the need to, for instance, call mom when you get home. Family members can see when a driver arrives safely, just another new feature of the system.

“Responsible driving habits are top priorities at Ford Motor Company, and we are pleased to be working with Life360 to help reduce driver distractions,” said Julius Marchwicki, Ford Connected Services Product manager. “With the integration of Life360 Drive Mode, we are helping to keep drivers’ attention on the road by letting their loved ones know that they are behind the wheel, encouraging family members and friends to hold off on sending texts.”

The new system also has made some improvements to hands-free options, like voice recognition. With the Ford SYNC AppLink system, the automaker is making the world safer one driver at a time. Get connected at Friendly Ford!

Could Ford’s ECOBEAST Patent Signal Something Ferocious on the Way?

Ford's ECOBEAST Patent

Ford’s current V6 EcoBoost Engine

What does Ford have up its sleeve?

That’s the question many are asking, including us at Friendly Ford, upon news that the automaker trademarked the term “ECOBEAST.” If that sounds like a reference to Ford’s EcoBoost engine technology, you’re on the right track. The patent request was filed under “Automobiles and automobile engines.”

What do you think Ford’s ECOBEAST patent could mean? Many believe it’s a high-output EcoBoost engine, even surpassing the highest-capacity 3.5-liter version currently offered. But why would a bigger engine require an entirely new name? Perhaps this will be an entire new line of engines.

Hopefully it’s not a red herring set loose by Ford to distract us all before the Detroit Auto Show, which might have something to do with the next-generation SVT Raptor on the way.

We’d like some answers, but trademark filing doesn’t indicate a projected timeline, so Ford could either be in its final stages before debut or initial development.  Still, it sounds like our favorite automaker has some exciting ideas in mind.

Ford Partners with BlackBerry

Ford Partners with BlackBerryIn 2007, Ford made the decision to partner with Microsoft which brought us the new SYNC technology. This feature lets drivers and passengers make telephone calls, control the in-car audio system, and perform other tasks hands-free. Ford currently has over 10 million vehicles on the road that feature SYNC technology.

At the end of last month, Ford announced that they will be ditching Microsoft and replacing it with BlackBerry. BlackBerry will use QNX technology to bring consumers a new and improved SYNC system. BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen is excited about this new venture and hopes to regain the confidence of investors and consumers.

Ford Partners with BlackBerryQNX already partners with some of the top name brands including Cisco, Acura, Audi, BMW, and other auto manufacturers which gives Ford high hopes for the future of their in-car technologies. “using QNX will be less expensive than licensing Microsoft technology and will improve the flexibility and speed of the next SYNC system,” says Bloomberg, a business and financial news site.

At Friendly Ford in Roselle, Illinois, we are excited to see what the future holds for Ford technology and innovation. What do you think of Ford’s partnership with BlackBerry? Let us know in the comment section below!

Ford Drives itself into the Future

Ever thought that we would see a car that drives itself? Technology is getting closer achieving that goal. Ford recently unveiled a self-driving Fusion to compete with other top automakers and Google who are all trying to perfect the self-driving vehicle.

Ford chose to turn the Fusion into a self-driver because the Fusions available on the market currently already feature several driver-assist technologies. The current Fusion has adaptive cruise control and a lane keeping system.

To turn the car into a self-driver, Ford included a forward camera, forward radar, ultrasonic sensors, omnidirectional camera, and added more GPS technologies. It also contains four scanning infrared light sensors (LiDAR) mounted on the roof that allows the self-driving Fusion to track objects surrounding the vehicle.

Currently, researchers are trying to mimic the complex environments that drivers go through on a normal basis. Raj Nair Ford’s group VP explains that “The key is sensor fusion and working through the algorithms.” Nair wants to get the Fusion reacting in real-world situations but in a safe and effective manner.

Although the science and technology of a self-driving vehicle seems very futuristic, we are excited to see where the automobile industry is headed. Could we be able to buy self-driving cars in the next 10 years? 20 years? Let us know what you think about self-driving vehicles in the comment section below!