Last week I spent a few days in Dearborn Michigan visiting the Ford Motor Company, and I have to say it was probably the best few days I have had in a long time.
The first day of the event I was treated to a dinner which followed a speech by Malcom Gladwell, who in 2005 was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people, and author of “The Tipping Point”. He spoke about how the work force of today and CEO’s of today demand more for their time than the work force of old. It was a pretty interesting speech and somewhat pro-union. I personally didn’t expect to hear a pro-union speech at an automaker event.
The second day we were invited to attend three sessions. I selected Aging Population, Safety for all ages and Living green.
“Aging Population” I know you are probably saying “BORING” but it actually was probably one of the most informative sessions of all. During the session I learned about my parents’ generation and how older people are more active today and healthier than ever. I also saw technology Ford wants to implement into cars, such as a seat that monitors your vitals, and ability to sync with your medical devices such as glucose meter.
Can you imagine, being able to check your sugar without taking your hands off the steering wheel or eyes off the road? What if your sugar was high after you checked it and the car recommended certain steps to lower it and if those steps didn’t work it suggested you pull over and dial 911? Ford is working with WellDoc to possibly make that happen sooner than you think.
“Safety for all ages” A session where I was pretty familiar with all technology being shown. From MyKey which allows parents to control the speed of the car, volume of the stereo and mute the stereo unless the autos occupants have theirs seatbelts on. Great safety feature if you have teenage kids.
I also heard more about intelligent vehicles which I wrote about a few months back here. A technology that is 3 – 5 years away. Just imagine less traffic, less accidents it’s like having an air traffic controller in your car. Intelligent vehicles are the future and the future is in this decade, and Ford is leading the way!
“Living Green” The living green session was my favorite, I think it had to do with all the green candy they were giving out. Green M&M’s, Green Rock Candy, Green Jolly Ranchers and so on. I also heard Ed Begley Jr. speak the actor from movies like “Pineapple Express” and TV shows like “St. Elsewhere”. He also had a reality TV show called “Living with Ed”.
I had no idea he was a green freak, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. He explained that being green isn’t as expensive as some make you think it is, he made it seem that yes it might cost more but at the same time it will last longer and save you tons of money. Being green leaves your pockets lined with green is what I got from him.
Ford also showed us their soon to be available 100% electric car and told us they have teamed up with Best Buys Geek Squad to install the charging stations in your home. Definitely not a car for an apartment dweller but I would definitely get one if I could have a spot near my apartment to charge it.
All in all the sessions were great and I learned a lot, however it was the last day of the event where I had the most fun. I was able to hang out with Judie Stanford from GearDiary.com and Helena Stone from ChipChick.com and we were able to get live demos of the Intelligent Vehicles, I was able to go off-road driving in an Explorer with Judie from Gear Diary. If your curious as to what a Ford Explorer looks like when sliced down the middle check the picture tot he left.
I also was able to drag race an F150’s against Judie (I lost), and the best part of all we got to see a crash test live, something reserved for government officials and dignitaries. Dummies survived. Ford made a video of the crash test and as soon as it’s made available I will share it with you all.
I want to thank Ford for inviting me out to visit their facilities it was an experience I will never forget. I got to meet some great people like Yvonne Kai from HeyDoYou.com, and Leaura Luciano a beauty and fashion blog who you can follow on twitter @LeAuraLuciano and her blog Ever so Popular.
A special thanks to Chris from Gas 2.0, Helena from chipchick and Judy from GearDiary. I twisted my ankle pretty badly while out in Michigan and they helped me get around. Oh let’s not forget Jeff from Geekazine.