Archive for May 2011

Ford Researchers Develop Car Seat That Detects Heart Attacks

In an effort to reduce the number of accidents caused by heart attacks at the wheel, Ford researchers have developed a car seat that monitors heart activity. Although the project is still in its early stages, its contactless heart monitoring is accurate 98 percent of the time, according to Ford. Engineers from Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen, Germany, working closely with Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Aachen University, embarked on the project even though it’s an often overlook traffic safety issues. The prototype Ford seat employs technology that monitors and detects signs of irregularity, and can advise the driver to seek medical attention. Six advanced sensors are able to detect heart activity through the driver’s clothing. In addition to heart attacks, the system could also be used to detect the symptoms of other conditions such as high blood pressure or electrolyte imbalances. Research by the Impaired Motorists, Methods of Roadside Testing and Assessment for Licensing project found that drivers suffering from cardiovascular disease were, on average, 23 percent more likely to be involved in a road accident. With 23 percent of Europe’s population expected to be 65-years or older by 2025, the number of drivers at risk of heart attacks is only expected to increase. Further development of the technology could tether it to existing technologies in Ford vehicles, such as Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch. Together, these systems could use the driver’s mobile phone to send messages to local medical facilities, alerting doctors to irregular heart activity. The seat also could be linked to SYNC’s Emergency Assistance function to inform emergency response teams of a  driver’s heart condition before, during, and after an accident. “The Ford seat is a natural progression from our work on contactless ECG monitoring equipment and provides an exciting potential real-world benefit,” said Professor Steffen Leonhardt of Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Aachen University. “As the population in Europe and around the world ages, more older people will be behind the wheel and the safety risks increase.  This technology holds the promise of saving lives and making the roads safer.”

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Ford Researchers Develop Car Seat That Detects Heart Attacks

Ford eNews – May 25, 2011

Could your car seat monitor your heart rate?; Ford avatars inspired by Hollywood technology; kbb.com: Easy A for 2012 Ford Focus; Ford Fund helps celebrate Latino influence in music

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Ford eNews – May 25, 2011

Ford Recycling Efforts: The Latest Coverage

It looks like Ford has pulled the rug out from under the competition once again, thanks to the industry-first use of cylinder-head covers made entirely from recycled carpeting. It’s yet another way the automaker is remaining true to its commitment to “reduce, reuse and recycle” its way to a smaller environmental footprint . This time, the advantage comes courtesy of EcoLon , a nylon resin developed by Wellman Engineering Resins that is now used to cover the cylinder heads of Ford’s 3.0-liter V6 and 5.0-liter V8 engines. Wellman makes the new material by grinding up used nylon carpeting into its constituent fibers, then recapturing the nylon through a patented, proprietary process. The reclaimed material is sent to another Ford partner, the Dana Holding Company, which uses it to manufacture the covers. “By working with Wellman and Dana, Ford has found a way to bring green applications to a new, unique location in our vehicles,” said Brett Hinds, Ford manager, engine design. “This single use has made an incredible impact, and we’re continuing to look for ways to expand the use.” Leveraging this innovative, high-quality material provides significant ecological advantages, including keeping more than 4.1 million pounds of old carpeting—enough to cover 154 football fields—out of landfills in 2010 alone. In addition, EcoLon saved 430,000 gallons of oil that would have been needed to make traditional cylinder-head covers. And best of all, added Ford engine-sealing supervisor Roy Ford, “We didn’t have to make compromises for this application.” Which means neither will Ford owners.

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Ford Recycling Efforts: The Latest Coverage

Location, Location, Location: Ford Identifies Optimal Location for Electric Vehicle Charge Ports

When owners of the Ford Focus Electric or C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid charge up their cars, they’ll find a natural, instinctive fit. That’s not by chance – it’s by design, and it’s because Ford engineers did their homework in ensuring customers had the perfect place to “fuel” up.

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Location, Location, Location: Ford Identifies Optimal Location for Electric Vehicle Charge Ports

Demand Rising for New Ford Focus As It Earns Top Safety Pick from IIHS and Highest Safety Rating from Euro NCAP

Ford Motor Company could see the popularity of the 2012 Focus increase even more as it joins the growing list of Ford vehicles to earn a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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Demand Rising for New Ford Focus As It Earns Top Safety Pick from IIHS and Highest Safety Rating from Euro NCAP

Demand Rising for New Ford Focus As It Earns Top Safety Pick from IIHS and Highest Safety Rating from Euro NCAP

Ford Motor Company could see the popularity of the 2012 Focus increase even more as it joins the growing list of Ford vehicles to earn a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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Demand Rising for New Ford Focus As It Earns Top Safety Pick from IIHS and Highest Safety Rating from Euro NCAP

Ford Demonstrates The Future Of Car-To-Car Communication

Ford believes that “talking cars” that can communicate with each other will be essential to highlight hazards to other motorists and improve safety. The Blue Oval’s innovative technology that enables this communication was recently demonstrated in Europe, where the automaker illustrated advantages to this technology beyond safety, including improving traffic flow and reducing CO2 emissions. The goal of this innovative research project is to develop the systems and infrastructure that would allow vehicles to update each other with hazard, driving condition, and traffic information. Using localized radio frequencies and the latest mobile phone network technology, Ford’s vehicle-to-vehicle communication system allows individual cars to broadcast messages to other vehicles. During the demonstration, Ford used two S-MAX vehicles to show how vehicle could “talk” to each other. When one S-MAX began to brake hard, it triggered an emergency signal that was subsequently displayed inside the following S-MAX within less than 100 milliseconds. Many Ford vehicles are already available with a range of technologies that are designed to detect various inputs from the driving environment and automatically assist the driver, including Lane Departure Warning , Lane Keeping Aid, Active City Stop, Driver Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control and Traffic Sign Recognition. However, vehicle-to-vehicle communication will be able to detect hazards that are well beyond the driver’s field of vision. “The notion of talking cars may immediately bring to mind thoughts of children’s movies, but the reality is that vehicles capable of speaking the same language could result in significant safety and convenience benefits for drivers,” says Christian Ress, connectivity technical expert, global driver assistance and active safety.

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Ford Demonstrates The Future Of Car-To-Car Communication

Ford Demonstrates The Future Of Car-To-Car Communication

Ford believes that “talking cars” that can communicate with each other will be essential to highlight hazards to other motorists and improve safety. The Blue Oval’s innovative technology that enables this communication was recently demonstrated in Europe, where the automaker illustrated advantages to this technology beyond safety, including improving traffic flow and reducing CO2 emissions. The goal of this innovative research project is to develop the systems and infrastructure that would allow vehicles to update each other with hazard, driving condition, and traffic information. Using localized radio frequencies and the latest mobile phone network technology, Ford’s vehicle-to-vehicle communication system allows individual cars to broadcast messages to other vehicles. During the demonstration, Ford used two S-MAX vehicles to show how vehicle could “talk” to each other. When one S-MAX began to brake hard, it triggered an emergency signal that was subsequently displayed inside the following S-MAX within less than 100 milliseconds. Many Ford vehicles are already available with a range of technologies that are designed to detect various inputs from the driving environment and automatically assist the driver, including Lane Departure Warning , Lane Keeping Aid, Active City Stop, Driver Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control and Traffic Sign Recognition. However, vehicle-to-vehicle communication will be able to detect hazards that are well beyond the driver’s field of vision. “The notion of talking cars may immediately bring to mind thoughts of children’s movies, but the reality is that vehicles capable of speaking the same language could result in significant safety and convenience benefits for drivers,” says Christian Ress, connectivity technical expert, global driver assistance and active safety.

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Ford Demonstrates The Future Of Car-To-Car Communication

Ford Has Developed a New Seat That Monitors Heart Activity

This is Fords effort to reduce the number of accidents caused by heart attacks at the wheel, Ford researchers have developed a car seat that monitors heart activity. Although the project is still in its early stages, its contactless heart monitoring is accurate 98 percent of the time, according to Ford. Learn more about this seat that monitors heart activity at Sound Ford.

Learn more about this seat that monitors heart activity at Sound Ford.

Engineers from Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen, Germany, working closely with Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Aachen University, embarked on the project even though it’s an often overlook traffic safety issues. The prototype Ford seat employs technology that monitors and detects signs of irregularity, and can advise the driver to seek medical attention. The seat includes six advanced sensors are able to detect heart activity through the driver’s clothing. In addition to heart attacks, the system could also be used to detect the symptoms of other conditions such as high blood pressure or electrolyte imbalances. Learn more about this seat that monitors heart activity at Sound Ford.

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Ford Explorer Seat Belts Win Another Safety Honor

When Ford was redesigning its iconic Explorer SUV, the company was determined to comprehensively upgrade the complete package by showcasing features like an all-new terrain-management system, advanced EcoBoost powertrain technologies that deliver class-leading fuel efficiency, and a sophisticated, modern approach to style and comfort. But the 2011 Explorer wouldn’t be a true Ford product if it didn’t also boast advanced safety systems like its industry-first rear inflatable seat belts—which were recently honored with the 2011 Traffic Safety Achievement Award, presented during the New York International Auto Show’s World Traffic Safety Symposium. It’s another major recognition for the system and comes on top of winning a gold medal in the 2011 Edison Best New Product Awards earlier this year. Ford’s leading-edge restraint system helps reduce head, neck and chest injuries in rear-seat occupants in two key ways. First, when the belts inflate in a front or side crash, their increased diameter helps to better hold passengers in the proper seating positions. Second, the inflated belts also spread crash-force energy across significantly more of an occupant’s torso to decrease injury risk and increase head and neck support. At the same time, the seat belts work just like conventional units during daily driving, while offering additional comfort and padding, and are even compatible with safety seats and boosters for children. “Ford’s rear inflatable seat belt technology will enhance safety for rear seat passengers of all ages, especially young children who might be more vulnerable in crashes,” said Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “Rear inflatable seat belts—a Ford exclusive—help build on our safety leadership.”

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Ford Explorer Seat Belts Win Another Safety Honor