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Auto blogFri, 15 Nov 2013 19:30:00 EST
Wed, 25 Jun 2014 17:59:00 EST
Mays is by far not the first designer to use heritage design cues in his work.
The announcement that J Mays will be leaving his chief creative officer role at Ford Motor Company on January 1 ends a 13-year run in one of the industry's top design roles. While best known for having a hand in reborn classics like the Volkswagen New Beetle, Ford Mustang and Thunderbird (above), Mays' legacy is more complicated and nuanced than being considered the father of what is known as "retrofuturism".
Connected cars are coming en-masse. We know this much. How, though, remains something of an open question, especially as two of the world's largest tech companies are preparing to battle for control of your car's dashboard. On the one hand, we have Apple and its CarPlay system. And now, we know what Google has been working on with Auto Link.
Its new name is Android Auto, and yes, it's based off the Android architecture that is the primary challenger to Apple's iOS mobile operating system. Announced at Google's I/O conference today, Android Auto functions similarly to CarPlay - owners will need to plug their smartphones into their cars to access the full breadth of capability.
In Android Auto's case, that means a wealth of voice controls to limit distracted driving. Google's marquee apps will be available when the interface arrives in production models later this year, including Google Play Music, Google Maps and voice-activated texting and text playback. Meanwhile, developers will be able to begin designing custom apps for the new system via an upcoming software development kit.
The Ford F-150 is one of the best selling vehicles on the planet. Considering that, one can imagine that when it comes time for a redesign, there are hardly any half measures. For its lucky thirteenth generation, Ford has gone all-in on the single most important vehicle in its portfolio, redesigning it from the ground up.
The big news is the F-150's new, lightweight, Atlas-inspired body. Ninety-three percent of that new body is made from a sort of aluminum alloy not unlike what the US military uses in its M2 Bradley fighting vehicles and Humvees, and it accounts for up to 70 percent of the F-150's 700-pound weight reduction. As a side benefit, the aluminum body should prove more resistant to dents and dings. Built Ford tough, indeed.
If you're wondering where the other 30 percent of that 700-pound weight loss went, 8.5 percent (60 pounds) came from the increased use of high-strength steel (up from 23 percent to 77 percent) in its ladder-box frame. Ford claims this steel is comparable to some of the heavy duty pickups used by its competitors, with a PSI rating of 70,000.