The 2017 Ford Fusion Energi puts an end to range anxiety

Interested in making the switch to a plug-in hybrid, but worried about potential range limitations? We’ve already covered a few reasons why car owners are getting charged up over Ford’s hybrid and electric vehicles – now let’s talk about why the 2017 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is a great option for those who need to go further distances than currently possible with an all-electric vehicle. In short, the Fusion Energi solves one of the challenges typically associated with electrified vehicles: range anxiety.

Ford’s new 2017 Fusion Energi is designed to alleviate feelings of range anxiety by going further in every sense of the word. In a recent survey, we asked drivers how far they think the Fusion Energi can go on one tank and a full charge. They guessed 420 km.* In reality, the Fusion Energi blew right by their expectations with an estimated combined gas-plus-electric range of 982 km. Feeling a little less anxious yet?

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The 2017 Fusion Energi is a plug-in hybrid; that means it uses both an electric battery and a gas-powered engine. In normal use, you can drive the Fusion Energi in all-electric mode until the battery is depleted, at which point the gas-powered engine takes over to get you to your destination provided you’ve got gas in the tank of course. And given that 83% of Canadians say that fuel economy is important to them***, it’s clear that the Fusion Energi is ideal for maximizing distance travelled between fill-ups.

With changes to the hybrid powertrain software and regenerative braking, the Fusion Energi features an estimated total range of 982 km**. Fusion Energi’s all-electric range is 35 km, while the gas engine adds another 947 km of range (based on Government of Canada approved test methods.)

According to Kevin Layden, Ford’s director of electrified powertrain engineering, Fusion Energi gives drivers both the freedom to go gas-free for shorter trips and the fuel efficiency of a gas engine and regenerative braking for longer trips, all at an affordable price. With provincial incentives also available in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, there’s never been a better time to get into a new Fusion Energi.

Here’s to having your cake, and eating it too.

How Ford Autonomous Vehicles See in the Dark

“Inside the car, I could feel it moving, but when I looked out the window, I only saw darkness.” This sounds like a nightmare scenario for any driver. Who knows what lurks behind the next dark corner or at the upcoming intersection?

Who knows? LiDAR knows. It was in this total darkness that Ford engineers put LiDAR through its paces, testing their “Project Nightonomy” on a Ford Fusion Hybrid autonomous research vehicle at the Ford Arizona Proving Ground. Engineers rode in the vehicle and monitored from outside, tracking the vehicle as it flawlessly steered around winding roads on a pitch-black night.

The unblinking eye

Ford’s LiDAR sensors work with existing virtual driver software to navigate enough desert roads create a system that tackles twisting tracks, even in near-total darkness. The 2.8 million laser pulses sent per second by LiDAR sensors scan and precisely map the surrounding area.

Jim McBride, Ford technical leader for autonomous vehicles, says the resulting 3D, real-time environments contain information on the road, geography, topography and landmarks, rather than relying on “the sun shining or cameras detecting painted white lines on the asphalt.”

The light at the end of the tunnel

Think of it as night-vision goggles for your autonomous car, partnering with the existing cameras and radar to allow your Ford to function independently on roads without stoplights. “Nightonomous” driving, another Ford development that brings autonomous driving closer to reality and less like a shot in the dark.

Four Reasons Parents Should Key in to Ford’s MyKey

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No one ever suggested raising kids would be easy. Whoever said “little kids, little problems” was onto something. Once they hit their teenage years…, that’s a whole different set of concerns: curfews, peer pressure, falling in with the wrong crowd, music preferences that would make a sailor blush – the list goes on.

And try as we might to ensure our kids make smart, responsible life choices, there’s only so much you can do. Sometimes we just have to trust that they’ll do the right thing. Talk about a whole lotta worry!

But thanks to Ford’s innovative technology, at least now there’s a way to gain a window into your teens’ driving habits, with plenty of information and enough control to make it seem like you’re riding alongside them.

MyKey – an available tool on many Ford vehicles that helps you understand your kid’s driving habits, even when you’re not right there in the passenger seat.

Basically, if you’re looking for peace of mind when your teen driver is behind the wheel, Ford’s MyKey offers it in spades. Program your teen’s key, manage the settings using your designated “administrator” key, and then send your young driver on their way in peace.

Here’s how, and why, it works:

  1. It’s all about slowing their roll 

If your kid is developing a lead foot, your MyKey allows you to put a speed cap on their driving. With different thresholds (105, 113, 121 or 135 km/hr) you allow your teen the wiggle room to avoid a potentially dangerous situation while keeping tabs on their speed.

There’s also an available chime alert that can be set to go off as they hit certain speeds below your pre-set maximums as well. Receive a speed minder alert as they surpass 75, 90, or 105 km/h. Talk about a way to accelerate safe driving!

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  1. They’ll always buckle under MyKey’s pressure

Seatbelts are seriously synonymous with your strict standards of safety. All drivers should wear them at all times. That’s why MyKey mutes the audio system and let’s Ford’s Belt Minder system chime until seat belts are buckled.

  1. Claim a volume victory by limiting the music’s maximum

Just in case your young driver likes to crank the volume before their favourite DJ drops some big, bumpin’ bass, you can ensure those heavy beats stay at a radically reasonable level. Keep the distractions to a minimum by ensuring the sound system stays under 45% of its maximum volume.

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  1. Fuel me once, fuel me twice…

Younger drivers may need a helping hand when it comes to keeping an eye on the amount of gas left in the tank. Thankfully MyKey gives an early warning so there’s still plenty of time to fill ‘er up before it’s too late. Get the low fuel warning with 120 km remaining in the tank, rather than the standard 80 km.

Things Self-Driving Cars Will Make Obsolete

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New technology eventually replaces the old. Not only have public pay telephones all but disappeared in the wake of cellphones, but many homeowners even choose to forgo having a landline telephone. Meanwhile, Internet shopping services such as Amazon are slowly gaining prominence over brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Self-driving cars will change our cultural landscape the way the printing press, indoor plumbing and the Internet did. Over time, these autonomous vehicles (AVs) will make some things obsolete that we currently take for granted. They may not disappear overnight, but one day we’ll likely look around and notice that the roads and highways are quite different places than they once were.

Here are five things the transition to AVs will probably relegate to history books.

Street Signs

9iRg6rEETAlthough pedestrians may still require signs announcing the names of streets, instructional signs — such as stop, yield and no-parking signs — will quickly become redundant on roads where cars drive themselves. AV programming will include such instructions. Even today, some GPS navigation systems display the current speed limit on their touchscreens. With this information programmed into a car’s computer, we could see speed-limit signs eventually disappear, as well.

Traffic Lights

Signal LightChances are that traffic lights as we know them will also fade into disuse. Sure, pedestrians and bicyclists will still need to know who has the right of way, but traditional traffic lights that go from green to yellow to red probably won’t be the source of that information. Something along the lines of current cross/don’t-cross signals would probably serve the purpose more effectively.

Valet Parking

valet-parkingSelf-parking will be a function of AVs: They’ll be able to unload their passengers and find a parking spot on their own. Nissan has test AVs that are already capable of dropping off passengers, parking themselves and then returning to pick up those passengers by commands issued through a key fob. Essentially fulfilling the role of a valet parking attendant, AVs will eliminate such services and the costs associated with them.

Parking Meters

metersAs with valet parking services, today’s parking meters will likely disappear. In communities that currently use parking meters to generate revenue, some new technology will need to be developed to charge for street and public lots filled with self-parking cars. Such technology could look like today’s toll-road transponders, such as Florida’s SunPass. In any case, the idea of physically inserting money or a credit card into a metering system just won’t work when cars park without a driver present.

Mail Carriers

2735733_370Electric refrigerators replaced iceboxes, eliminating the need for ice vendors, and corner supermarkets eventually erased daily milk deliveries and milkmen from the scene. In much the same way, a number of commonplace service jobs may prove unnecessary in the age of self-driving cars. With AVs able to follow set routes, the position of mail carrier might be one of the first to go.

While it remains to be seen whether self-driving cars will truly make these now-common realities things of the past, one thing is for certain: Once AVs hit the streets, the world will start to look different pretty quickly.

New Ford Fusion offers stop-and-go tech to relieve stressful travel

Commuters, rejoice! Ford is introducing a new driver-assist technology that will make your morning drive a lot less stressful. Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology – designed to take the edge off driving in heavy traffic – is available in the 2017 Ford Fusion.

The semi-autonomous technology makes use of a sophisticated radar-and-camera based system to accelerate and break for the driver – all while maintaining a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead, bringing the car to a complete stop when traffic freezes.

Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go is just one of 20 driver-assist options for the new 2017 Ford Fusion available this spring.