During the summer, we spent exactly one weekend, and two weekdays shopping for a vehicle that would become a better fit for our family. A vehicle with more space, was versatile and a vehicle that had features to make our lives a little easier.
With 9 precious weekends through the summer months, you can imagine how excited I was to spend one of these weekends driving an hour outside of the city to see a vehicle. Jamie was convinced that buying outside of the city was going to garner a better experience, and service. He was right, and the process could have been a lot longer, had we not used tools to make the vehicle shopping process easier – like completing all of our negotiations, including our trade in, via email.
The one weekend of car shopping that included a test drive of the vehicle, a run through of the features and a deposit to take twenty-four hours to make a final decision. Later that week, we visited the dealership one time to finalize the paperwork, and pick-up our new Ford Flex.
Technology is not only changing how we buy vehicles, but the types of vehicles we buy.
Of the information I learned at the North American International Auto Show as a Ford Digital Influencer, the information about vehicle technology, how we’re using technology to research and buy vehicles and the insights into Generation Z, or our children under twenty-one was most fascinating. Listening to talks from Mark Fields and Sheryl Connelly (Ford Motor Company Futurist) were inspiring and left me thinking about how the process of not only buying a vehicle, but those features that become essential, are going to shape the next vehicle that we buy, or the vehicle that our children are going to buy (and the reveal of the Ford Shelby GT 350R was pretty rad).
Ford’s Vision for the Future: Blue Print for Mobility
Ford’s Blueprint for Mobility over the next five to ten years highlights the goals of the company, and resonated with the vision of moving from a motor vehicle company to a technology company. The blueprint includes
- semi-autonomous driving technology for improved accident avoidance and driver assistance
- heightened interaction between cars on the road, vehicle to cloud and vehicle to infrastructure communication
- integrated transport network featuring cars plugged into public databases
- more one, two and three person vehicles to help maneuver congested city streets.
The feature we use on a daily basis are bridging the gap between the vehicles of the past and the computer on wheels take on cars being created for generations that crave technology. Park assist, adaptive steering and securicode keyless entry are features that we’ve come to rely on. We no longer have to figure out the angles for those tight parallel parking places, we no longer have to carry around key fobs and sensors on the vehicle use technology to reduce the chances of being involved in a collision.
These features have become native to our driving experience. It’s going to be fascinating to see ‘what’s next’ and see the updated Sync 3 in action, in the future.
The 2016 Ford Explorer, debuted at the NAIAS, feature 180-degree front cameras, side sensors and the ability to steer you into those hard to maneuver perpendicular parking spots. The hand-free foot sensing lift gate is one of my favorite exterior features, and the “smart technnology” USB charging ports inside the vehicle come with the ability to charge your devices, in half the time. These smart features, family friendly size and luxurious feel maintain the Ford Explorer as my second choice because I ‘love the face off of our Ford Flex’.