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The future of motoring - what to expect

From driverless delivery cars to innovative technology and safety features, the future of motoring has a lot in store!

From driverless delivery cars to innovative technology and safety features, the future of motoring has a lot in store!

We chatted to Ford’s resident Smart Mobility Spokesperson, Kuda Takura, to see what Ford has planned for the future of motoring…

  1. As far as the future of motoring goes, what can we expect to see in 2019? What do you feel will be the most innovative trend/aspect on a global scale?

KT: Autonomy and electrification will continue to dominate the industry, while we will see more efforts in improving transportation ecosystems, such as an investment in a cloud-based platform for mobility services or V2X (vehicle-to-everything) technology.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which took place in Las Vegas recently, Ford, Qualcomm, Audi and Ducati were demonstrating how V2X technology can make intersections safer and less congested with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) and vehicle-to-intersection (V2I) safety scenarios. We also demonstrated how vehicles can cross an intersection with traffic lights by talking to each other.

Technology like C-V2X (cellular vehicle-to-everything) will help make our streets safer and less congested, as vehicles will be able to talk to similarly-equipped vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and traffic lights. This is a key part to Ford’s vision of delivering smart vehicles in a smart world – a world where connected technologies could also help businesses provide on-demand services along your route, or even help cities replace traditional road management systems such as traffic signals. 

  1. And locally? Anything that South Africans in particular can look forward to?

KT: In South Africa, Ford is already the leading volume brand in offering the most advanced suite of standard driver-assist technologies across a large number of nameplates. The company aims to help people around the world more safely and confidently face congested roads. The technology “Ford Co-Pilot360”, include technologies like: Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning,

  • Blind Spot Information System, Active City Stop, Pre-Collision Assist, and Advanced Auto Parking. All of these technologies can be bought today on the following vehicles in South Africa:
  • Ford Focus
  • Ford Kuga
  • Ford Everest
  • Ford Ranger
  1. Let’s chat about design. What will the cars of 2019 (onwards) expect to see?

KT: Ford SA will launch a number of new vehicles in 2019 and 2020 all of which will further refine Ford’s design language. Key elements include bolder grilles housing the ‘face of Ford’ elements. Inside the vehicles, drivers can expect more intuitive technology and a prominently placed SYNC3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and partner integration like Waze.

  1. Talking tech: Any exciting features we might not yet know about?

KT: Ford South Africa recently rolled out a segment exclusive feature with Waze International. Through this feature vehicles like the new Fiesta and EcoSport fitted with SYNC3 are able to mirror the Waze app driving experience into the SYNC infotainment system with the voice guidance integrated into the normal driving experience thus increasing safety.

  1. Safety systems: South Africa’s roads are notoriously known to be a treacherous place to travel. In what way could new safety systems and tech contribute to South Africa’s road safety?

KT: Aside from the Co-Pilot360 technologies mentioned earlier, Ford will be looking to introduce a segment exclusive feature in 2019 that will take the risk out of the dreaded potholes on South African roads. The all-new technology system senses when a wheel is falling into a pothole and adjusts the suspension so that the wheel doesn’t fall as far into it.

  1. What will life be like beyond Uber? What about driverless cars?

KT: Every single mobility option is part of a comprehensive transportation network — one that could be vastly more useful if all the services involved were connected. In complement to autonomous vehicles, we are also looking at how ‘talking’ and ‘listening’ vehicles could make roads safer, cities better.

Driver-assist technologies today and autonomous vehicles of the future utilize on-board sensors much in the same way people use their eyes to navigate complex environments. C-V2X (cellular vehicle-to-everything technology) could complement these systems in ways similar to how our sense of hearing complements our vision to improve our ability to operate in a complex world.

C-V2X will enable vehicles to receive updates about potential traffic developments and risks that are beyond the range of what sensors can pick up, provide warnings or could even be tuned to activate Ford Co-Pilot360’s automatic emergency braking system to brake for drivers if they do not respond.

At CES, Ford announced that it is committing to deploy cellular vehicle-to-everything technology – or C-V2X – in all of our new vehicle models in the United States that we launch beginning in 2022, pending a technology neutral regulatory environment, to help make our streets safer and less congested as vehicles will be able to talk to similarly-equipped vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and traffic lights. This is a key part to our vision of delivering smart vehicles in a smart world – a world where connected technologies could also help businesses provide on-demand services along your route, or even help cities replace traditional road management systems such as traffic signals.

The process of bringing cars to market with a degree of autonomy already began for Ford South Africa in 2013 when the then new Kuga was launched. We have built on this since adding and revising the capabilities of the technology and offering them across a greater range of nameplates/models. In South Africa, we can expect fully-autonomous Fords on our streets once infrastructure, and local legislative and regulatory requirements, are in place.

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