New Ford F-150 comes Packed with Tech [VIDEO]

ford f150 tech

The new 2015 Ford F-150 will go on sale toward the end of the year and Ford is packing the company's most important and best selling vehicle with a growing list of technology features.

To see these new features you can watch this video below where Jennifer Shaw, Ford's Driver Assistance Electronics Supervisor, explains some of the technology that is available on the new Ford F-150.

Individual tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)

Instead of having that annoying TPMS light go off and not know which tire is low, the new F-150 shows you exactly which tire but how many PSI (pounds per square inch) it's low.

*Standard on all trims

Curve Control

What is Curve Control?  Basically it helps a Ford F-150 driver maintain control if they take a turn too quickly by automatically reducing torque and applying four-wheel braking.  This should reduce a truck speed by up to 10 mph in approximately one second, assisting drivers to stay on their intended path.

*Standard on all trims

Parallel Parking made Easy

Hate parallel parking?  What about parallel parking with a big truck?

Ford has a solution for this with it's Active park assist technology that uses two ultrasonic sensors and electric power-assisted steering to help F-150 owners parallel park. The sensors measure gaps between vehicles on the street to determine if there is enough room for the F-150 to park.  After confirming the F-150 can fit, the truck automatically steers into the space, while the driver operates the accelerator and brake pedals.  Ford claims they are the first company to put active park assist on a truck.

We will have to see if Ford's marketing team will make a commercial as good as Parisian Pinball for Active Park Assist in the US.

*Available on Lariat trims and above                                 

Adaptive cruise control & Collision warning

Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support uses radar in the front of the truck to measure the distance and speed of vehicles ahead. Using this information, the F-150 can automatically slow to keep a consistent following distance set by the driver. The slower speed will be maintained if adaptive cruise control is activated. Collision warning triggers visual and audio alerts if the system detects the following distance is diminishing too quickly and a collision may occur. It also pre-charges the brakes if the driver needs to stop suddenly.

*Available on Lariat and above

Class-exclusive smart trailer tow module

If you tow anything you will find this feature handy.  The smart trailer tow module will inform the driver on the dashboard which lights on a trailer connected to the truck aren’t working, so the driver or a passenger doesn’t have to get out of the truck and walk around the trailer to personally find blown lights.

*Available on all series and included on all 3 towing packages

Massaging Seats

Want a massage but don't have time to go get one?  Just opt for the multi-contour massaging seats in your new Ford F-150 so you can get a massage while you drive. 🙂

*Available at King Ranch, standard on Platinum 

Blind Spot Monitoring

Available BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) utilizes radar sensors in the taillamps to monitor blind spots that may not be visible to the driver.  If you attempting to change lines and another vehicle is in your blind spot, the sensors will trigger a warning light in the sideview mirror.  These sensors also can detect a vehicle coming down an aisle when the driver is slowly backing out of a parking space.

*Available at XLT, standard on Platinum

Lane-keeping system

This feature is to help prevent a driver from moving outside of the intended driving lane by accident.  The system automatically detects the left- or right-hand road lane markings using a camera mounted between the windshield and interior rearview mirror. A vibration in the steering wheel is used to alert the driver if they start to drift.  The Lane Keeping System is useful to prevent highway hypnosis for 2015 F-150 owners.  The system can also provide steering torque to help guide the vehicle back into the lane if needed.

*Available at Lariat at above

360-degree camera, Ready for TV? 

An available 360-degree camera with split-view display uses four exterior mounted cameras to give the driver a bird’s-eye view of up to seven feet surrounding the F-150 to assist in maneuvering like parking in tight spots, navigating narrow roads and trails at low speeds.

*Available at Lariat and above

Hill Descent Control

For those that enjoy off roading the Available Hill Descent Control uses anti-lock brakes (ABS) to give the driver control while descending a hill. With the push of a button, the truck’s speed is set automatically, allowing for the driver to concentrate more on enjoying driving down a hill and less on braking.

*Available on all series (4X4 models only)

Ford Mustang Birthday Card aims to Break World Record

ford mustang birthday card

Ford Mustang is turning 50 next week and Mustang fans around the world are being invited to sign an electronic birthday card for the iconic American car.  Ford's goal with the Ford Mustang Birthday E-Card is to break a world record for most contributions with more than 50,000 signatures and messages on an electronic card.

Over the course of five decades the Ford Mustang has become one of the most popular cars every sold with sales of more than 9 million units to date.  Ford is hoping all the fans built up over the years for the Mustang will participate by signing the card, leaving a message, and then sharing the link on social media networks and bookmarking sites.

“The spirit of Mustang infuses everything we do at Ford,” said Steve Ling, car marketing manager for Ford. “Mustang inspires a feeling of freedom and independence for drivers and fans, and it helps to inspire everyone at Ford to create the best products we can for all of our customers in every segment.”

When April 17th, 2015 rolls around it will mark 50 years since Mustang officially went on sale and Ford is pulling out all the public relations stunts they can to honor the occasion.  The new 2015 Ford Mustang convertible will be placed on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, dual celebrations organized by the Mustang Club of America will take place, and there will be a great American Pony Drive and an employee celebration at Ford Motor Company headquarters.  Ford is definitely going to party for this occasion.

Everyone who wants to help commemorate 50 years of Mustang can  add their own birthday message for their favorite car here: http://action.ford.com/page/s/mustang-50.  Remember Ford needs over 50,000+ signatures and messages to break the world record.

Henry Ford: A Man & Car That Changed the World

henry ford
Henry Ford

Last night I watched a really fascinating PBS special on Henry Ford.  I learned a lot about Henry Ford and how he basically modernized the way we travel today with the Model T, built Ford, and become one of the greatest entrepreneurs and American industrialists the world has ever seen.

An absorbing life story of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century, Henry Fordoffers an incisive look at the birth of the American auto industry with its long history of struggles between labor and management, and a thought-provoking reminder of how Ford's automobile forever changed the way we work, where we live, and our ideas about individuality, freedom, and possibility.

This is what the description on the ‘American Experience' special on the PBS website reads.

Somehow those words couldn't ring more true.  Imagine trying to get around nowadays without your car?  Even if you are reading this and don't own a car, I am sure you ride in cars all the time.

While a fascinating individual Henry Ford was far from perfect.  For instance he distributed papers that were meant to spread his ideals about Antisemitism.  As well he apparently bought land in Brazil to try to create a “Utopia.”  He was quite brutal to his son.  I guess a genius needs to be a bit eccentric to change the world though.

What I found most interesting about Ford was that he sounded a lot like Steve Jobs.  Very smart and changing the world but difficult to work with and he would sometimes fire people for seemingly odd reasons.  Steve Jobs was the same way, only he was working on changing the world through computers and Henry Ford changed it through making cars available to everyone.

A family member I was watching the American Experience PBS special actually said before I was going to, “He was the Steve Jobs of cars!”  After the show ended I checked various Twitter hashtags and noticed that it seemed others were making the same comparisons.

Not surprisingly the American Experience team on Twitter weighed in on the discussion too and plugged next week's on Silicon Valley episode.

I highly recommend you catch the Henry Ford ‘American Experience' special on your local PBS station next time it is on.  If you would rather you can also watch it on your computer.  (I prefer watching shows over-the-air with an Antenna since the quality is better.)

I learned a lot about Henry Ford and I write about cars for a living.  In my opinion another great reason to support your PBS and the great programming they produce! 🙂

*Join Adam’s Auto Advice on Facebook and Twitter.

2013 Ford Explorer Sport Interior and Exterior Tour

Here are some quick video tours of the brand new 2013 Ford Explorer Sport.  These Youtube videos should give you a good idea of what the interior and exterior look like without actually having to go test drive a Ford Explorer Sport.  I think the Ford Explorer is a slick looking SUV inside and out, but watch and decide for yourself.  Please also checkout the video interview with Bill Gubing, the Chief Engineer on the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport, I posted since it's pretty fun.

Interview with Bill Gubing, Chief Engineer of the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport

Here is a short video interview that Nicolas Zart did with Bill Gubing, chief engineer on the new 2013 Ford Explorer Sport, during a Ford ride and drive event in Santa Monica.  Bill seems very excited about the new 2013 Ford Explorer Sport and discusses the new handling and upgrade suspension characteristics of the Ford Explorer Sport.  As he says the new Ford Explorer Sport is a true “Driver's Car” and I definitely agree with him.

2013 Ford Explorer Sports – First Test Drive Impressions

What can you say about the new 2013 Ford Explorer?  In a nutshell it is the new redesigned Ford Explorer and is the synthesis of an American SUV with European styling and handling.  The interior was nice and well appointed which made me feel I was in a luxury Lincoln.  Makes you wonder what Ford will do with the Lincoln version of it.  The model I had was a beautiful black and pretty brown leather seats.  The 2013 Explorer Sport has some nice features but the re-engineering is what won me.

Ford's head engineer on the 2013 Ford Explorer emphasized that have improved to make a stiffer body with reinforcements in key structural areas.  Under the two fronts seats where they attached to the floor, there is a bar that stiffens the body, right across the transmission tunnel.  There is another stiffening bar behind the front shocks that is also behind the engine.

What was interesting to hear is that Ford Explorer weight split is 60/40 vehicle but the drivetrain can go into pure 50/50.  There is a convenient knob on the central console where you can select Desert, Forest and Ice mode, each giving you more or less torque if different driving conditions.

Although you sit high, as with any other SUV, it felt responsive and tight… at least tighter than any other SUV I've driven.  I would imagine the Porsche and Maserati could easily out handle the 2013 Ford Explorer, but not its price.  It's a SUV and has limits but more than a few BMWs on twisty roads were surprised by the powerful SUV keeping pace with their German vehicles.  Worse case handling scenario, the rear has a hard time understanding what the front is doing but obliges willingly and follows the curve.

Purist will hate the paddle shifting mounted on the steering wheel instead of the column, but I suspect 90% of its clientele won't know or care what paddle shifters are or even bother to use them.  I found myself a few times coming out of a curve wanting to shift but not being able to figure out which paddle was up or down.  One very nice touch are the good looking 20-inch wheels with “Sport” engraved in them.  The brakes have been generously upgraded for the Sport version for the extra power.

All in all, this is yet another Ford achievement as the company positions itself to compete with the more power and performance oriented SUV market, but at an affordable price.  I found the SUV easy to drive in traffic and even fun to bounce around canyon roads.  The engine comes alive at over 3,000 but not once will it intrude inside your plush felt cabin.  The only thing you will hate on the road if you own a Sport version is to see an older Explorer in front of you heavily braking at every curves.  This SUV is meant to go fast, cruise around town and everything in between.

Is Ford’s “Parisian Pinball Park” Commercial One of the Best Auto Commercials of All Time?

Ford has a very edgy and interesting ad in Europe which is aimed at promoting Ford's Active Park Assist feature.  This essentially helps drivers that have trouble parallel parking handle the tightest of parking spaces.  How Ford choose to convey this feature is very interesting as they titled the YouTube ad “The Parisian Pinball Park.”

Personally I think this is one of the best auto commercials I have ever seen.  It is edgy, smart, funny, and gets the point across of what Ford is trying to sell.   Watch the commercial and let me know what you think.