Ford Airs Cloud-Connect Gull-Wing PHEV Concept, College Rental Deal
September 2, 2011 8:53 AM
Ford is partnering up with Zipcar to deploy 2012 Ford Focus and 2012 Ford Explorers for rental on U.S. college campuses.
(Source: Kelvin Ma, Bloomberg News)
The Ford Evos Concept
Company looks to remain on the cutting edge of in-car technology and grow its brand
It was a busy week for Ford Motor Company (
) at the
technology show in Berlin, Germany. The company late Wednesday made two major announcements public.
I. Ford Targets College Rental Market With Zipcar Deal
The first announcement dealt with a new deal with Zipcar, Inc. (
), the world's leading car sharing network. If you're unfamiliar with the concept of car sharing, it's a business model that first appeared in urban areas where people without cars will rent one for short amounts of time. This differs a bit from the traditional car rental model, which focuses on rentals by number of days, not number of hours.
Back to the deal, Ford is teaming up with Zipcar to become the primary supplier of rental vehicles to locations in the company's University program. The deal begins this week with Ford shipping
2012 Ford Focus
and the 2012 Ford Escape vehicles to these locations. Ford says it plans to add 650 vehicles to Zipcar's fleet this academic year, and up to 1,000 over the life of the deal.
Zipcar currently has a bit over 8,000 vehicles so that's approximately a 10-12 percent increase from current levels.
II. Meet the Evos
In addition to the Zipcar news, Ford was showing off a slick new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) concept sports sedan dubbed the "Evos". The car was unveiled at the nearby
Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung 2011
(IAA), better known by its English name -- the Frankfurt Auto Show.
The Evos showcases some of Ford's developing
"smart mode" hybrid electric vehicle technologies
, which predict common routes and combine them with current vehicle information to adjust performance to deliver the best fuel economy. The vehicle uses the cloud-based Google API, which we covered back in May. It now can assess weather conditions and factor that into its driving decisions.
The car also has a smart health seat that monitors driver physical workload and adjusts in-vehicle services automatically. For example, if the driver is overly stressed, the car might pre-brake when approaching other vehicles or turn the volume down slightly on the radio to minimize distraction. Ford showed us this technology at their
MyFord Touch health-related event
One item not previously discussed, though, is that the smart health seat is now capable of sending collected data to the cloud, for predictive adjustments based on driving history. While this sounds a bit scary from a privacy perspective, it could provide a more pleasant driving experience for willing customers.
To top off the cloud-driven experience, the car streams music and news into the car based on what you watch/listen to in your home. Cloud-based software identifies your tastes and adjusts the in-car stream accordingly.
For example, if you always
, it will play similar news station -- or even grab podcasts directly from
. Or maybe you like
-- it would send you that instead. Or maybe you think American news in general is too partisan and you like to get an international perspective -- it might stream you some sweet
The vehicle itself is pretty slick. In the front (though not so much in the back) it looks somewhat similar in styling to the
SLS electric vehicle super-car
showed off by Daimer AG's (
) Mercedes-Benz. And that's not a bad thing.
It sports four gull-wing doors. The cockpit looks quite distinctive, taking Ford's infotainment systems and extending them with a futuristic look.
As with all concepts, there's always a shred of hope that it could
one day see production
, albeit in a somewhat altered form.
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
UPDATED: Converj Plug-in Concept Confirmed for Production as Cadillac ELR
August 17, 2011, 6:19 PM
Ford Prepares SYNC to Protect Its Drivers' Health
May 19, 2011, 4:34 PM
Ford Uses Google API to Optimize How Your EV Drives
May 11, 2011, 8:39 PM
UPDATED: Test Drive: 2012 Ford Focus Looks, Drives Great, But Sync Gen 2 Disappoints
April 30, 2011, 1:20 PM
Mercedes-Benz Targets Tesla, Begins Testing SLS Gullwing Electric Supercar
December 15, 2009, 9:19 AM
Jaguar I-PACE – Jaguar’s New Electric Concept / New SUV
November 16, 2016, 5:00 AM
Car Insurance - The Hidden Discriminatory Practise
October 18, 2016, 5:00 AM
End of the Road for the Audi R8 e-tron
October 15, 2016, 5:00 AM
Paralyzed Race Car Driver Recieves Nevada License
October 12, 2016, 5:00 AM
Take a Glance at the Cars of the Paris 2016 Motor Show
October 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Sales Battle - Apple iPad Mini vs Samsung Galaxy Tab
November 29, 2016, 12:36 AM
PlayStation 4 Pro – 4K Console for 4K TVs
November 28, 2016, 1:00 AM
Phillips 55’ 4K Smart TV – Is This Really a Deal? We Think So.
November 25, 2016, 9:44 AM
Google Wi-Fi – A Scalable Wi-Fi Solution for any size Home or Apartment
November 30, 2016, 1:00 AM
PIQ ROBOTTM reveals its new artificial intelligence software
November 29, 2016, 12:59 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Dec 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 3, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 2, 2016, 5:00 AM
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Dec 1, 2016, 3:01 AM
Chapeconense plane crash: Football rallies around Brazilian Team
Nov 30, 2016, 1:00 AM
How to Extends Your iPhone’s Battery Life
Nov 29, 2016, 12:49 AM
Nov 28, 2016, 1:12 AM
News: Fidel Castro
Nov 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nov 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Changes in Social status affect the way genes turn on and off within immune cells.
Nov 25, 2016, 5:12 AM
Austrian far–right hopeful Hofer may back EU vote.
Nov 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Final Fantasy XV Leaked Before Nov 29 Launch Date
Nov 23, 2016, 1:00 AM
Nov 22, 2016, 2:26 AM
Nov 21, 2016, 1:00 AM
HTC Makes Big Moves in China
Nov 20, 2016, 2:00 AM
Do you know who is the number one company in the word?
Nov 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Foldable Cardboard ”EcoHelmet” wins James Dyson Award’s Top Prize
Nov 18, 2016, 2:39 AM
Scientists Discover Roundest Object Ever Spotted in Universe
Nov 17, 2016, 1:00 AM
Smallest Device Lets You Print Almost from Anywhere
Nov 16, 2016, 9:32 AM
Cancer Screening in the Community Is there a link between Cancer and Poverty?
Nov 15, 2016, 8:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information