Ford Talks Autonomous Cars, Smart Home Integration

Ford is joining forces with Amazon to deliver smart home integration: a feature that Fields believes will set Ford apart from the competition. Lauren Popovich reports.

Ford CEO and President Mark Fields unveiled the future of Ford Tuesday morning at CES 2016, outlining the company’s direction toward smart home integration, a feature that Fields believes will set Ford apart from the competition.

Ford is joining forces with Amazon to deliver these services.

Joining Fields on stage, Greg Hart, vice president of Amazon Echo and Alexa Voice Services, explained how smart home technology can be integrated with a vehicle.

Hart directed the voice system: “Alexa, start my car.” In less than one second, Alexa responded and had automatically started the vehicle. In addition to starting the car, Alexa has the capability to open and close garage doors from blocks away or even check the battery status in a Ford vehicle.

In other developments, Ford said it expected to triple its autonomous fleet of Fusion hybrids by the end of 2016 and produce affordable self-driving cars accessible to the middle class. Another thing on their list: a push to develop a drone-to-vehicle communication system that would potentially assist the United Nations in assessing damage in emergency zones.

According to the company, future applications could include forestry, bridge inspection and other work.

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