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The Boss of Ford, Bill Ford Junior, revealed last night that within less than a decade, motorists could be ordering their vehicles to “switch to autopilot”.
Just like the famous car park chase scene in James Bond’s Tomorrow Never Dies, when Pierce Brosnan famously uses his mobile phone to control the BMW 750L car, it is predicted that in years to come vehicles will similarly become more like computers on wheels.
Bill Ford explained how dramatic advances in technology, some of which are already in development, will be required to manage the global rise in cars which are predicted to increase by one million to four million in the next 40 years.
It is predicted that vehicles will become like computers and drive themselves remotely, not only being able to talk to the driver, but also to other vehicles. They will also be able to automatically link together in a tight formation which will help save on road space, as well as warning drivers of accidents and traffic jams ahead and ways to avoid them.
Addressing telecommunications chiefs at the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Bill Ford Junior said: ‘Cars are becoming mobile communications platforms.
Right now, there are a billion computing devices in the form of individual vehicles out on our roads. They’re largely unconnected from one another and the network.
‘We’ll increasingly take advantage of the car as a rolling collection of sensors to reduce congestion and help prevent accidents.
‘I’m confident that we will see many of these advances on the road in this mid-term period (between 2017 and 2025) because the early versions are already being designed, and in most cases, tested.’
Ford’s latest creation to be launched at the Geneva Motor Show next month is the B-MAX which represents the fruits of the new generation of Ford cars. It goes on sale in the UK in September and is expected to celebrate highly successful sales, thanks to its compact design, combined with its MPV qualities such as its revolutionary “wide open” doors, which allow full access to the car.
The Ford B-MAX is a family car and the first Ford in Europe to be fitted with new SYNC mobile technology which automatically alerts the emergency services in an accident. Drivers can also use voice commands to control the in-car entertainment system.