Monday, September 19, 2011

Ford Evos Concept

Said to be the "ultimate expression" of Ford's new global design language, the Evos concept is a 4-door fastback sporting gull-wing doors. As you might expect, the concept is a plug-in hybrid, featuring lithium-ion battery technology. It is also able to seamlessly integrate with a driver's personal information stored in the "cloud." Ford had four key benefits in mind here — personalization, enhancement of the driving experience, a smart electrified powertrain and a means of looking after the driver's well-being. That's right — this thing will even monitor your heart rate. But we'll get into that if the tech ever sees production.

Source: Internet

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ford Increases Soy Content in Foam, Adds Head Restraint as New Item for Sustainable Material

•Ford and Lear Corporation have introduced a new head restraint foam with 25 percent of the polyol replaced with soy

•75 percent of Ford’s North American-built vehicles feature bio-based foam in the head restraints. Vehicles include the Ford F-150, Taurus, Explorer and Fusion

•All Ford North American-built vehicles use bio-based foam in seat cushions and backs. Ford’s use of bio-based foam has helped the company reduce its petroleum oil usage by more than 3 million pounds annually and carbon dioxide emissions by more than 15 million pounds

Dearborn, Mich., Aug. 31, 2011 – Ford and Lear Corporation are taking another leap forward in sustainable technology with the introduction of new head restraint foam that has 25 percent of the polyol replaced with soy.

Seventy-five percent of Ford’s North American vehicles feature bio-foam in the head restraints, including the Ford F-150, Taurus, Explorer and Fusion. All Ford Motor Company vehicles built in North America use bio-foam content in the seat cushions and backs.

“We are continuously looking for new ways to expand our use of bio-based foam, and head restraints are a perfect example,” said Debbie Mielewski, technical leader, Ford Plastics Research. “It’s a new location with higher soy content. We’re not stopping at head restraints, either. There are still many other applications in which traditional foam can be converted to bio-based soy foam on vehicles, such as energy-absorption areas, steering wheels and armrests.”

The extended use of soy foam results from the continued research collaboration between Ford and Lear; Ford first used sustainable soybean oil-derived seating foam on the 2008 Mustang. The collaboration also generated the recent complete conversion of all Lear North American Ford seating cushion foam to Lear SoyFoam™.

SoyFoam is up to 24 percent more renewable than petroleum-based foam. The biomaterial has helped Ford reduce its annual petroleum oil usage by more than 3 million pounds. The use of SoyFoam also has helped Ford reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 15 million pounds. SoyFoam also can provide a 67 percent reduction in volatile organic compound emissions.

“Our success with the introduction of sustainable products confirms customer acceptance of the technology and the need for green automotive interior innovation,” said Ash Galbreath, director, Advanced Materials and Comfort Engineering for Lear Corporation. “Lear’s advancement of ecological breakthroughs is intended both to reduce product sensitivity to petroleum raw material price fluctuations and lessen our impact on the environment.”

A sustainable solution

Ford was the first automaker to demonstrate soy-based foam could be formulated to pass the stringent requirements for automotive applications, pioneering its use in seats for the 2008 Ford Mustang and in headliners for the 2010 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner.

Ford and Lear have earned several awards for the technology, including the Society of Plastic Engineers’ Innovation Award and R&D Magazine’s annual R&D 100 Award for development and use of soy-based foam in vehicles.

Ford continues to research the use of other renewable sources for foam, including palm, rapeseed and sunflower oil in markets around the world where those commodities are locally available and cost effective.

Eco-friendly solutions

Ford’s “Reduce, reuse and recycle” commitment is part of the company’s broader global sustainability strategy to reduce its environmental footprint while at the same time accelerating the development of advanced, fuel-efficient vehicle technologies around the world.

Over the past several years Ford has concentrated on increasing the use of non-metal recycled and bio-based materials whenever possible, provided these materials are environmentally favorable and meet all performance and durability requirements. Examples include soy foam seat cushions and gaskets, wheat straw-filled storage bins, recycled resins for underbody systems, recycled yarns on seat covers and natural-fiber plastic for interior components.

Source: Ford

Ford Evos Concept

You’ve heard us use the term “global design” before on; it basically refers to the foundation of new Ford products that can be used worldwide. To simplify that even further, it’s like automotive DNA. And, it’s also part of the One Ford product plan.

Click Here to watch a video.

The Ford Evos Concept, which will officially debut at the 64th Frankfurt International Motor Show, held September 15-25, 2011, might give you the biggest hint of all regarding the DNA of the next generation of Ford cars and crossovers.

“The Ford Evos Concept is a strong statement of intent from the global design team, and highlights the compelling vision we have for our future products. We believe that the new generation of buyers around the world has higher expectations for a more premium design language in all products,” explained J Mays, Group Vice President, Design and Chief Creative Officer.

Click Here for a Ford Evos Concept - technology demonstration

Take special note of the interior and exterior of the four-seater. There’s a fastback roof profile, which screams aerodynamic efficiency. There’s a sporty appearance. Its architecture is muscular. And about the face: The familiar Ford inverted trapezoid grille has been moved upward, which you might have already noticed on the new Focus Electric and Focus ST.

But it’s not only the design that’s important here. “The Ford Evos Concept unites three key elements which are at the core of our One Ford global product strategy: outstanding design, smart technologies and fuel economy leadership,” said Derrick Kuzak, Group Vice President of Global Product Development.

Driver interaction and awareness are key features. You’ve heard references to “the cloud”? It’s alive and well here. The technology on the Ford Evos Concept reflects a new generation of driver interaction and awareness currently under development in the Ford Research and Innovation laboratories. Seamless connectivity between the vehicle and the driver’s “personal cloud” of information is at the heart of its capabilities. Ford researchers are focusing efforts on delivering four key customer benefits: personalization, enhancement of the driving experience, looking after the driver’s well-being and smart electrified powertrain optimization.

Using information from the cloud, the vehicle can provide the same connected lifestyle the driver experiences at home or office. The car knows the driver and automatically adapts handling, steering and engine controls to deliver a dynamic driving experience. For example, imagine if it could automatically play the same music or news program that was just streaming at home, or heat or cool the interior to an ideal temperature before you got in, without input from you, since it would predict your departure time based on your calendar. Wirelessly communicating with devices in the home, it could close the garage door and switch off the lights automatically as it pulls away.

Learning driver habits and capabilities, the technology can overlay map and weather data sourced from the cloud to adjust powertrain, steering, suspension and braking systems for comfort and safety.

And Ford researchers have already developed technologies focused on driver wellness, such as the heart-rate monitoring seat and certified allergy-free interiors. With a seamless connection to the cloud, the Ford Evos Concept monitors the physical state and workload of the driver and adjusts the driving experience accordingly. The concept is also equipped with advanced air quality sensors and filtration systems to help allergy sufferers. Location-aware, it can access air-quality data from the cloud and proactively suggest a healthier route to the destination.

In dynamic driving situations, the vehicle may simplify the appearance of the instrument panel to display only necessary gauge information and switch the driver’s connected smartphone to Do Not Disturb mode to help keep the focus on the road.

What about performance? The Ford Evos Concept is a state-of-the-art lithium-ion plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain, providing the same next-generation performance and fuel economy as the Ford C-MAX Energi scheduled for introduction in North America in 2012 and Europe in 2013. Cloud connectivity would provide further opportunities to enhance performance and efficiency by selecting the optimum combination of powertrain modes for any given journey. Ford researchers are working to increase understanding of driver behavior, develop accurate protocols to predict it and enhance the trip by providing the smartest use of fuel or battery for the situation. The cloud-optimized powertrain would automatically “know” when to save energy and switch modes, using information about the vehicle’s predicted travel route, any emission zone restrictions during the journey and current weather conditions.

“We wanted the Ford Evos Concept to give a clear message about where Ford design is heading – shaping vehicles that are fun to drive, have a premium appeal but, above all, are stunningly beautiful,” said J. “The first fruit of this vision will be ready sooner than you might think – you’ll see it in around four months rather than four years. We can’t wait to introduce the first production car to include this new Ford design to our global customers.”

Source: Ford/Youtube