Commercial vehicle upfitter XL Hybrids has announced that it will begin production of its XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System for Ford F-250 pickups in the first quarter of 2018.The XL3 system will be offered as a ship-through upfit on 2018 F-250 pickups, and is compatible with a range of wheelbases, cab and bed configurations in both 4×2 and 4×4 options. All components are installed under the vehicle, retaining the pickup bed’s full capacity.According to the company, the upfit offers an up to 25 percent increase in fuel efficiency.Installation of the XL3 system can be completed in just hours, and leaves the original engine, transmission, fuel system and exhaust system completely intact. Fleets maintain the complete OEM warranty, and get a three-year, 75,000 mile warranty from XL Hybrids on the XL3 powertrain.
Work on Ford’s autonomous technologies continues – the company is developing a Fusion self-driving prototype with highly advanced sensors, radars, and software. The Blue oval brand demonstrated what it has achieved so far at the University of Michigan and its Mcity facility.Mcity simulates urban environment which allows Ford to safely test up to Level 4-capable autonomous vehicles in “scenarios like traffic in intersections, pedestrians in crosswalks, different traffic signals, and even bicyclists.” During the demonstration earlier this week, autonomous Fusion prototypes “successfully piloted themselves around the faux city landscape, top speed around 25 miles per hour,” as Automotive News reports.
It might be small, but the Carr-E has an impressive set of capabilities. Designed by a systems engineer based in Cologne, France, it’s able to carry people or objects weighing up to 120 kg (265 lb) at up to 18 km/h (11 mph). Range is limited to 22 km (13.7 mi), which should be more than enough to scoot from a car park to the office or train station.Being able to carry humans is one thing, but the Carr-E also shines as a load-lugging device. Having piled it up with cargo, owners can slip a beacon into their pocket and start walking, at which point the circular little scooter will start following them.
Autonomous vehicles’ reliance on cameras is obviously out of the question in the night. Ford — the company who claims they will have autonomous technology ready by 2020 — announced today that their camera-less, self-driving darkness tests have been successful, and they released a YouTube video to prove it.The video shows a prototype Ford Fusion navigating the company’s Arizona test track. The green tint of night vision goggles, the radioed in call of “sunset in T-5 minutes” at the top of the video, and the “Project Nightonomy” title gives the video a feeling of watching something top secret. The entire video feels like insight into a black ops mission, complete with epic background music and camouflage army helmets.
The auto maker officially enrolled in the California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program and will begin with self-driving, Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans, it said in a release yesterday.At the Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto, Ford relies on a team of more than 100 researchers, engineers and scientists.”Our Palo Alto workforce has grown considerably this yr, utilizing analysis and innovation to discover and develop future mobility options”, stated Ford chief government Mark Fields.Ford researchers, who also collaborate with universities, specialize in technologies that help cars “see” or sense what is around them and safely navigate. Among others, Toyota and Nissan are trying out self-driving cars in Japan while Kia recently received a special licence by the state of Nevada to test its autonomous cars in the USA state.Managing Director of the Aachen facility, Pim van der Jagt, told TrustedReviews at the time that consumer versions of self-driving cars could be a long way off.”Having a strong presence in Silicon Valley allows us to further accelerate our research on a wide range of technologies, and apply our insights to create real-world mobility solutions”, said Ken Washington, Ford vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering.
In recent months, both Hyundai and Volvo have launched smartwatch apps, allowing car owners to control some of their vehicle’s functions from the comfort of their wrist. Now Ford wants in on the action. In the latest update to its MyFord app, available on both iOS and Android Wear, the car maker is letting drivers of select electric and plug-in hybrid models access information on their vehicle battery status (including the estimated range), enable the air-conditioning, lock and unlock the car and follow directions to where their car is parked.One particularly interesting feature is the addition of a personal driving score, which indicates how well you are driving by factoring in your average miles to the gallon, distance traveled and how efficiently you accelerate and slow down. The more green leaves you see on the display, the better you’re driving. If you own a Ford C-MAX Energi, Ford Focus Electric or Ford Fusion Energi and either an Apple Watch or Android Wear smartwatch (or both), then download the app right away.