They slogan used to go, “Quality is Job 1.” If you aren’t familiar that was the ad slogan from Ford’s commercials almost 20 years ago. In today’s automotive world that slogan could be changed to “Technology is Job 1.” With the introduction of the SYNC system powered by Microsoft, Ford has accelerated itself to the head of the automotive pack. SYNC isn’t the only innovation—MyFord and MyFord Touch, Smart gauges and Apps that interface with your car from your cell phone have all been introduced to consumers in the last couple of years. This year at the Washington Auto Show, Ford revealed new technology they are working on—this time with the potential to reduce traffic hazards.

The technology revealed is called the vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) system and is aimed at improving traffic, safety and efficiency. The V2V system uses short-range WiFi on a secure channel, a channel allocated by the FCC, to provide complete 360-degree coverage of an equipped vehicle even when there isn’t a direct line of sight. If you are trying to figure out how WiFi can prevent traffic, safety or efficiency, the answer is that the system can predict collision with unseen vehicles by spotting traffic pattern changes. The V2V system could also potentially save some 3.9 billion gallons of fuel according to the Texas Transportation Institute. The idea is that the system could reduce congestion and therefore reduce gasoline consumption.

Ford has pioneered connectivity in modern vehicles with SYNC," said Mike Shulman, technical leader of Ford research and advanced engineering. "We believe advanced Wi-Fi for intelligent vehicles could be added to smartphones or GPS systems and simply connect to SYNC like today's phones."

Bottom line—Ford is pioneering advances in technology that is on par with the research being done on self-driven vehicles like that of the Google vehicles we reported on last year.


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