Ford is working on several electric and plug-in hybrid models for the near future. For all these cars, batteries are the most coveted element. The most expensive single part, and also the most crucial. Every large car manufacturer now has battery engineers, working all day to understand and improve electricity storage and consumption. They need data, lots of it, and Ford has invented a smart and impressive way to provide it. It’s impressive because it’s real time. Ford has several dozens of prototypes on the road right now, and all these cars have been turned into mobile communication devices.
Actually, there’s nothing revolutionary here. Ford has set up a secured web server, and the cars have Internet access to exchange data with that server while on the move. So the test drivers drive the cars, and the engineers are far away, at their office, but fully aware of each car’s battery state of charge, temperature, etc… This gives them a advantage in terms of speed. Should the engineers spot something wrong, they could write an update for the charge/discharge software and get it uploaded with a click. Instantly, and remotely.
This technology is working on prototypes, it could someday find its way on production models…
Our pictures: the prototype of an electric Ford Transit Connect. It should available next year.