Why and how to joyfully move our butts around town, without mucking the place up.

Pages with tag Ford Motors

  • Domino's and Ford begin consumer research of Pizza Delivery using self-driving vehicles <p>One of the long-predicted primary uses for autonomous self-driving cars is all kinds of delivery services. You could order a pile of lumber from Home Depot, and rather than rent a truck by the hour to drive it to your house on your own, Home Depot could send it in a self-driving truck. In this case instead of a human pizza delivery agent (a job I had myself over 30 years ago), Dominos would instead send the Pizza in a self-driving car. How does Domino's expect to get the Pizza upstairs to, for example, the second floor of a college dormitory? Or inside a hospital to a surgery team that's about to start an operation? Or elsewhere in that same hospital to a mother that just gave birth? Or upstairs in an apartment complex? Or to a hard-to-find apartment in a house that's been divided into aprtment units? There's all kinds of special situations I recall as a Pizza delivery driver that aren't satisfied by driving a car up to the front door and tooting a horn and expecting someone to come outside to retrieve the pizza.</p> <p>Domino's has long been exploring alternate vehicles. Back in the 1990's they hired Corbin Motors to build a special version of the Corbin Sparrow where the rear end was designed for pizza's. Those cars are affectionately known as the Pizza-Butt Sparrows. Amongst the select few of us who know Corbin's history that is. You can imagine that a large cost center in Domino's financials is the salary and fuel costs for their current pizza delivery system -- humans driving gasoline powered cars. And, no, I did not work for Domino's. Instead I worked for Archies Pizza, a Pizzeria in Lexington KY that went out of business years ago but made really nice high quality pizza's from all kinds of fresh ingredients. There was a Domino's a half-block away from our store, of course.</p> <p>I foresee this being a difficult service to develop because of all the special delivery situations that exist. One way it might work is to have a van with a mobile pizza kitchen. The raw pizza would be assembled at the store, then the delivery agent loads those pizza's into ovens in the van, and manages the cooking process while the van is driving the delivery route. That would be tricky to implement, but would give a human delivery driver tasks to do while the van is driving from place to place. And the pizza could plausibly be deliveried more freshly cooked...? Which would address one of the key issues of pizza delivery -- keeping the pizza hot while driving to the customer's residence.</p>
  • Ford furthers global electrification expansion; signs MOU in China with Zotye Auto to explore all-electric vehicle JV <p>For Ford, "electrification" means any kind of electric assist including mild-hybrid, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric. In this case Ford is exploring a partnership with Chines automaker, Zotye Auto, to maybe sometime in the future possibly build some electric cars.</p>
  • Ford learns 'if you build workplace charging they will charge' <p>After home charging, workplace charging is the most convenient place to charge an electric car. The 4 hours for a full recharge doesn't matter if you're inside the office working. Your personal involvement is the time to plug the car in, and the time to move the car when charging is complete. Having charging facilities at the workplace obviously will make folks more amenable to driving electric if only because the total driving radius is greatly expanded.</p> <p>Ford Motors says they've learned, after installing 200+ charging stations at 50 facilities, that Ford's employees are more open to buying a plug-in electric car knowing they have charging available at the office.</p> <p>This isn't exactly an earth shattering ground breaking research result. This result has been seen by others over the years, and it is an intuitively obvious result. It's nice to see the intuitively obvious verified by actual research results. And, it's nice to see that the results of this study will convince Ford to triple the number of workplace charging stations at Ford facilities. Maybe it will finally start sinking into the collective knowledge at Ford Motors that Electric is the direction we all need to take.</p> <p>Last thing to note is that Ford's charging facilities expansion is meant to enable bad charging etiquette. The press release says the burden of moving ones car after it's fully charge is a major downside to electric car ownership. I can imagine certain office campus situations where that would be true. However, it means the folks who plug in to charge in the morning will be hogging the charging station all day. That a car is parked in front of a station tends to make it impossible for another car to use that station. <a href="/ev-charging/range-confidence/charging-etiquette.html">Bottom line is that electric car charging facilities are a scarce resource that we must learn to share</a>. This plan instead gives folks the idea they do not have to share charging facilities. </p>
  • Ford's eQVM program certifies 3rd party truck electrification Ford's Qualified Vehicle Modifier program certifies companies who perform specialized customization of large trucks for specific commercial uses. Truck manufacturers frequently sell through truck customization shops who produce trucks for specific purposes. For example a shuttle bus manufacturer might take a stock Ford E450 truck chassis, install a passenger cabin and bus doors and other accoutrements of a passenger bus. The truck manufacturer doesn't have the capacity to grok the specialized needs of each niche market, and instead rely on truck customization shops to do so. What's new is adding truck customizers with electric or hybrid drive-train expertise.
  • Ford, Virginia Tech, go undercover to develop signals that enable autonomous vehicles to communicate with people