the company held a press conference at the Dearborn Hotel in
Dearborn, Michigan to announce some major news -- Ford will be
appearing again at CES and Ford CEO Alan Mulally will be delivering
the keynote address at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 7.
DailyTech attended the Ford press conference and got a chance
to listen to Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO
Gary Shapiro break the news and give his thoughts on Ford.
Shapiro stated, "Ford understands the importance of technology
as a driver of innovative vehicles... Ford's vision of wireless tech
has set the bar [high] for the automotive industry and forever
changed how consumers interact with their cars."
CEA officials then held a brief panel to discuss Ford's hottest
SYNC and other innovations from the company. Built on top
of a Microsoft OS and with voice recognition technology from Nuance
(see AnandTech's special
on this company's voice recognition products), Ford believes that the
SYNC's latest features like Traffic, Directions and Information
Services put its vehicles a step ahead of the competition.
company also emphasizes that SYNC makes common in-car activities like
phone calls or listening to music safer and less distracting.
Ford's Jim Buczkowski, director of Electronics & Electrical
Systems Engineering emphasized this point stating, "At Ford,
driver distraction is a very important issue, voice technology helps
keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Technologies
like Ford SYNC are key to managing distractions."
Shapiro and the Ford directors agreed that SYNC would allowing a
hands-free texting ban without the loss of functionality. As
far as a texting ban, Shapiro states, "Banning texting while
driving is a no-brainer."
According to Buczkowski and
Doug VanDagens, director of Connected Services at Ford, one SYNC
feature that's being worked out is outgoing voice-driven text
messaging. The big holdup is fine-tuning the editing of text
messages by voice, they say, but they expect the feature to be
delivered sometime in the near future (perhaps a CES announcement?).
We also asked them when the vehicles might be getting automatic
updates via cell phones or other wireless links. Ford responded
that they believe that their user downloadable updates, such as their
"SYNC My Ride" program, are good enough and that the user
can install updates manually via USB.
As to security,
DailyTech pointed out that viruses or malware on the iPod or
other devices could in theory attack SYNC (causing volume disruption,
bad directions, errant speech, etc.), and asked what protections were
being put in place to stop this. Ford did not really comment on
a protections within SYNC, but said that vehicle specific functions
were firewalled to protect them from the vulnerable consumer
interface. So while malware could, in theory, wreak havoc with
SYNC, your base vehicle would be safe.
Another feature Ford
touted was their radar and sonar blind spot detection, parking lot
Cross Traffic Alert, and warnings to prevent rear end collisions.
All of these features help distracted drivers regain their
concentration. DailyTech asked Ford if they would be
overriding driver commands at some point, if drivers executed
dangerous moves, such as going into a lane with a car in it, despite
Buczkowski and VanDagens said that Ford
engineers are considering this, but the issue is to implement it
properly. For now, they say the driver is ultimately
responsible for their own safety, though the car does take some steps
when fast approaching an obstacle, such as precharging the brakes.
quote: Ford is the only U.S. auto company to survive the recession without going bankrupt and reaching deep into the U.S. government's pockets.
quote: Ford's money in the long run won't cost taxpayers anything and will in fact probably save everyone money.
quote: The government made a bad investment in GM.
quote: In an industry of dozens of brands and manufacturers with no regional or logistic restrictions on competition (ie only one entity can own the power lines and power plant that power your house, so there is no competition), it doesn't make sense for the government to have a direct stake in the industry.
quote: I challenge you to actually go to law school and study with a focus on constitutional law, then come back with a degree and the same opinion.
quote: Hell, just read the constitution in its entirety. It's not the government-shackling document that you want it to be (or, admittedly, that even I want it to be). The government is given quite a bit of power in the constitution.
quote: Since you failed to read or at the very least comprehend the link I originally provided, let's review together.From the article, "The low-cost loans will carry a discounted interest rate of about 5 percent—enough to save automakers more than $100 million for each $1 billion borrowed. Otherwise, the companies would face interest rates of 15 percent or more."
quote: I could easily make the argument government can *only* make bad investments; but I'll continue on topic.
quote: You are completely wrong. Being the US Constitution is a core piece of our country and a crucial instrument to preserve self governance, I am sadden by your ignorance. Even without the benefit of a higher education, any idiot can go to Wikipedia and read the words of Chief Justice Marshall or the author of the Constitution, James Madison, on the topic.
quote: General Welfare Clause“ to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; ”Of all the limitations upon the power to tax and spend, the General Welfare clause appears to have achieved notoriety as the most contentious. The dispute over the clause arises from two distinct disagreements. The first concerns whether the General Welfare Clause grants an independent spending power or is a restriction upon the taxing power. The second disagreement pertains to what exactly is meant by the phrase "general welfare."The two primary authors of the Federalist Papers essays set forth two separate, conflicting theories: * the narrower view of James Madison that spending must be at least tangentially tied to one of the other specifically enumerated powers, such as regulating interstate or foreign commerce, or providing for the military, as the General Welfare Clause is not a specific grant of power, but a statement of purpose qualifying the power to tax; and * the broader view of Alexander Hamilton that spending is an enumerated power that Congress may exercise independently to benefit the general welfare, such as to assist national needs in agriculture or education, provided that the spending is general in nature and does not favor any specific section of the country over any other.
quote: Ford was solvent prior to this program, get a clue.