This past week I attended my very first HUGE international auto show. I’ve been to a few local car shows here and there in my 4 decades but nothing as shiny and glamorous as the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, open to the public January 11 to 24, 2016.
I went as a guest of Ford Canada (check out #FordNAIAS on Instagram and Twitter) and yes, that is a picture of Ryan Seacrest on the stage… 🙂
It’s true, I was introduced to a bunch of new cars and trucks (my favourite truck was the F-250) from Ford but what had me talking was all the connectivity technology their research labs are working on, in particular, they are working on integrating wearable technology and vehicles! Linking health data to driver-assist technology.
As more consumers embrace wearable devices such as smart watches, glasses and fitness trackers, Ford is opening
the Automotive Wearables Experience lab at its Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan.
Potential smart watch applications include linking health data to active vehicle driver-assist features to enable these technologies to be more aware of the driver behind the wheel – particularly when that person is stressed or sleepy; new app challenge seeks innovative ways to measure in-vehicle health metrics.
Wearable innovations are part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.
Did you catch that?!
If a vehicle detects that a driver is sleepy or stressed, it will activate innovative safety features such as lane-keeping aid and adaptive cruise control or Blind-Spot information systems which could increase the distance between vehicles on behalf of the driver.
The ability to measure wakefulness and health data including blood pressure, blood glucose and heart rate via wearable technology also could benefit semi-autonomous driving features.
As the day went on I could see that Ford was deeply committed to improving the users experience. With the help of Ryan Seacrest, they launched the new mobility platform, FordPass, which will be a huge benefit to members, it’s “A Smarter Way to Move.” Ford is hopeful that FordPass will do for car owners what iTunes did for music.
FordPass is divided into 4 categories.
FordPass Marketplace: mobility products from vehicle controls to smart parking reservations.
FordHubs: urban storefronts
FordGuides: a team of experts always available to help you get the most out of your FordPass.
Ford Appreciation (FordPass Perks): a reward program which allows members exclusive access to merchandise and experiences.
You don’t have to own a Ford to be able to benefit from this either, anyone can have daily interactions with FordPass:
- Start his or her car via the FordPass app in the morning
- Use FordPay to locate and pay for parking in a downtown lot
- Redeem perks at an affinity partner
- Instantly pay Ford Credit bill
- Chat with a FordGuide about where to find a FordHub to learn more about a new technology
- Use FordPass app to call roadside assistance to fix a flat tire
“Instead of having a handful of interactions with consumers each year, we determined we could actually have a handful of interactions each day, with the intention to make people’s lives easier and more rewarding,” said Stephen Odell, Ford executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “That’s how we decided we could elevate and participate in the full customer experience.”
It’s hard not to miss… new technology is front and center for Ford at NAIAS 2016! Ford wants to GO FURTHER to improve the customer’s experience.
Before you leave, check out Mike from TopDaddies – he did an awesome job covering the Ford vehicles inside the Blue Oval!
Where as I was enamoured with the MASSAGE CHAIRS which can be found in the Ford F-150 and the all new Super Duty F series, the Ford Explorer and the Ford Taurus. Watch my scope if you must. 🙂
If you are within driving distant to Detroit, I highly recommend you pack up the kids in the car and take them to see what Ford’s got up their sleeves.