February 22, 2016
Barcelona is the site for the 2016 Mobile World Congress, where auto execs, manufacturers, operators and vendors congregate for the world’s largest mobile conference. As a leading provider of mobile technologies, Ford was on hand to showcase many of its upcoming vehicle products and services. In particular, Ford CEO Mark Fields delivered a keynote speech in which he discussed, among other things, the upcoming release of the Kuga SUV (pictured) as well as autonomous driving technologies set to be featured in Ford vehicles within the next few years.
In debuting the all-new Kuga, Ford chose a high-profile international stage to showcase one of Europe’s iconic SUV models. The design of the Kuga SUV is both bold and sporty, which Ford hopes will make it a standout in the competitive crossover market. The Kuga model that made its Barcelona debut includes such features as a Sync 3 system, driver assist technologies, an ergonomic interior and a new 120 PS 1.5-liter TDCi diesel engine.
Fields revealed some new Kuga perks like Ford Perpendicular Parking, Active City Stop Collision Avoidance and an Adaptive Front Lighting System. By tripling the number of active safety technologies, the automaker plans on manufacturing vehicles that resemble what a fully autonomous driving future may look like. In fact, Fields announced that many of these autonomous safety features—specifically Traffic Jam Assist and Fully Active Park Assist—would become standard in Ford vehicles over the next three years.
During his keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress, Fields announced that the FordPass platform would be launched in Europe later this year. He trumpeted FordPass as a service that would simplify the lives of users through a suite of auto mobility services. The platform’s key features include Marketplace, FordGuides, Appreciation and FordHubs.
Fields also used the occasion of the Kuga’s debut to demonstrate Ford Smart Mobility in front of the international audience assembled at the Mobile World Congress. In the coming years, Fields predicts that Ford Smart Mobility will supply automotive and mobility services to European nations such as England and Germany.
Ford’s CEO looks forward to the coming changes in the auto industry that Smart Mobility will help make possible.
“As we look to the future, it is clear we are on the cusp of a revolution in mobility—from car sharing to autonomous driving to the customer experience,” said Fields. “Technology and innovation provide us with the opportunity to address these trends and to make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves.”
While many automakers espouse the need for technological innovation, Ford’s present-day commitment to full auto autonomy is evident in its recent actions. For instance, this January Ford tested its fully autonomous vehicles in winter weather conditions that included snow, making it the first automaker to do so. In addition, Ford is the first automaker to deploy a fully autonomous vehicle fleet in order to test the technology under real-life conditions.
As explained by Ken Washington, Ford’s VP of Research and Advanced Engineering, the company’s semi-autonomous and fully autonomous vehicle features are designed to make driving more convenient and enjoyable. He also believes the time will soon be upon us when we’ll see self-driving vehicles on the road on a regular basis.
“We are committed to making autonomous vehicles available for millions of people,” said Washington. “Within well-defined areas and with favorable environmental conditions, we predict that fully autonomous driving will be possible within four years, and that autonomous vehicles will play a significant role in making travel safer, more enjoyable, and more accessible.”
For more information on the Kuga, Sync 2 or the other subjects of Fields’ keynote speech, visit the Ford Media Center.