The World is Going Green and Smart – and Ford is Leading the Way

The new Ford Kuga, introduced by Ford Taiwan on November 8, is setting new benchmarks on safety, smart and fuel-efficiency.

The Kuga sports a refreshed look with a prominent hexagonal grille and serious headlights, as well as ergonomic enhancements that make the interior even roomier and more comfortable. But what really sets the new Kuga apart are the smart features that make driving easier and more efficient, enhancing safety, performance, and efficiency.

“In the refreshed Kuga, we bring the latest in technology and features,” says Tim Ju, President of Ford Lio Ho (Taiwan), noting that with the Kuga’s many advances, including seven SRS airbags for all passengers, the Kuga “offers the most safety features for any locally-built compact SUV.”

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Adaptive cruise control, for example, employs radar technology to lock onto the car ahead and keep pace with it, slowing down and speeding up as it does. Drivers can even set it to follow at 2, 3, or 4 seconds behind the leading car, and if the car suddenly comes to a stop, the Kuga’s Forward Alert will help notify the driver of the potential collision. Ford’s Lane Keeping Aid, also available on the Kuga, monitors the driver by employing forward cameras that can tell where the car is between the lines on the road. If the driver begins to drive irregularly, it will alert the driver and even assist in getting back into the center of the lane.

Meanwhile, SYNC 3, Ford’s new communications and entertainment system has more conversational voice recognition technology to help millions of drivers connect with their lives and control their smartphone while on the road. Additionally, the new Kuga offers fuel-efficient power choices that utilize Ford’s popular EcoBoost powertrains – a 1.5-liter, 182-ps engine; a 2.0-liter, 245-ps engine; and an increasingly popular 2.0-liter diesel engine. These engines use turbocharging technology to offer greater power, performance, and mileage. Together with the standard Auto Start/Stop feature, new Kuga is making the ride full of drive-fun and also friendly to the environment.

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The technological advances seen in the Ford Kuga are just the beginning of what Ford sees as revolutionary trends in global mobility.

Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Aid, for example, are Level 1 autonomy features aimed at making driving easier and safer. By 2021, though, Ford promises to have Level 4 fully autonomous vehicles on the road. In California, Arizona and Michigan, it is already testing the world’s largest fleet of fully autonomous vehicles. “We invest a lot in autonomous vehicles, because we see it has a great future,” says Wesley Liu, Executive Director of Sales Operations, Ford Motor Company, Asia Pacific.

“Our core business is still autos, but we also see smart mobility as a great trend, such as ride hailing and car sharing,” says Liu. “In the future economy, we want to become one of the leaders in terms of connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicle, big data, and customer experience.”

Consequently, Ford recently launched a brand new subsidiary, Ford Smart Mobility LLC, to develop commercially ready mobility services and invest in promising mobility-related ventures. Reflecting this transition, Ford is expanding its facilities on Ford’s Palo Alto campus in Silicon Valley and is making big investments in startups that are introducing fresh talent and ideas. To tackle the growing problem of urban traffic congestion, Ford recently made a major investment in San Francisco-based crowd-sourced shuttle service Chariot. The startup, which creates routes depending on how users interact with its app, currently has 28 routes operating Ford Transit vans, and will soon expand into five more markets.

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Ford also recently invested in the San Francisco bike-share program managed by startup Motivate. It plans to increase the number of bikes to 7,000 by 2018 and to expand service to other cities in the Bay Area.

In addition, Ford believes that the opportunities in car-sharing will be one of the trends in the near future. “If car sharing grows in popularity in the future, we will need to adjust and refine our business model and adjust our business model,” observes Tim Ju. “This may perhaps involve playing a key role in segments such as vehicle and fleet management.”

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