Ford to spend 1.8 billion on smart cars in China

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China is the world’s biggest auto market and Ford wants to increase the size of their piece of the pie. On Monday, they announced a 1.8 billion dollar investment – over five years – into research and development. Projects such as adding greater smartphone connectivity, autonomous features, and other smart car features.

Ford has said they see China as a “big growth market” and have two new vehicles they will introduce to China next year – the C-MAX Energi, a plug-in hybrid and the Modeno, a conventional hybrid.

Ford is also hoping to introduce, next year, Sync 3, a connectivity system that would offer greater hands-free control; control of things such as climate systems, entertainment systems, phones, and the navigation system. It would also include enhanced voice recognition, an easier-to-read screen, and have a more smartphone-like interface.

The coolest feature mentioned was allowing drivers to control more car systems through their smartphones, in such cases to use mobile chat functions, particularly during China’s notorious traffic jams.

Ford develops its technologies in other markets first, so if these technologies and enhancements go over well in China, I think it’s safe to say we could see them here in the future.

How do you feel about the possibility to control more car systems through your phone?

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