The first new car I bought was a Ford Ranger pick-up truck with a bench seat. It was about 15 years ago and I was living in Southern Illinois working at my first newspaper job when the clunker of a car I had driven from Tucson to the Midwest suddenly died.
My brother sells cars and he told me there were 2 trucks in my price range. They were both manuals with a bench seat, but one had air conditioning and one a radio. It was summer and ridiculously hot so air conditioning won out.
My Ford Ranger was simple, reliable, and the best car I ever had and I think of it fondly. So when Ford invited me out to Orlando to learn about Ford’s vision for new car technology I could not pass it up. I’ve gone from being a single girl in a pickup to a mom in a high tech hybrid SUV. I wanted to know what kind of safety features I can look forward to seeing when my kids start driving.
From the look of it, there will be a lot and they will be amazing.
A group of journalists and bloggers were invited to Orlando, Florida by Ford to learn about new technology and hear Bill Ford, Jr. speak at the World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems.
First we heard about Ford’s Driving Skills for Life program that I wrote about for MomsLA. Then we heard about some of the new safety systems that Ford is working on along with other car companies.
The Intelligent Vehicle Technology is amazing. Ford is working with other car companies to make it possible for vehicles to talk to one another to avoid accidents. I was able to ride along during a demonstration. The video below talks about how the technology works and the last part was the very scary real life scenario. That gasp at the end was me.
The goal is to have all cars talking to each other and talking to intersections to avoid collisions and ease traffic congestion. But what was really interesting to me was the potential for apps for the car that can monitor your health and wellness. Like the car-to-car crash avoidance systems, these are meant to be a way to identify and alert the driver to issues before they become a problem. Ford is working with medical device manufacturers to figure out ways to check blood sugar levels and give allergy alerts for people with asthma or allergies. I don’t necessarily think it’s a good idea for car companies (or insurance companies) to know that much about you, but they say that privacy is important and the systems won’t keep your information.
We also heard Bill Ford, Jr. speak, but I’ll have more video on that later.
Disclosure: I was not paid for this post but my family and I were given airline tickets, and hotel stay to attend the event plus Disney world tickets. That said, the opinions in this post are my own. You can find more from me at MomsLA.com where I am editor and cofounder.