For Sale By:Dealer
Interior Color: Gray
Drive Type: RWD
Exterior Color: Blue
Number of Doors: 2 Doors
Bridgeport, Ohio, United States
Ask any car engineer what's the biggest variable in achieving fuel economy targets, and he'll tell you "the driver." If one human can't understand human driving behavior enough to be certain about an innocuous number like miles per gallon, how is an autonomous car supposed to figure out what hundreds of other drivers are going to do in the course of a day? Ford has enlisted the help of Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to find out.
Starting with the automated Fusion Hybrid introduced in December, MIT will be developing algorithms that driverless cars can use to "predict actions of other vehicles and pedestrians" and objects within the three-dimensional map provided by its four LIDAR sensors.
The Stanford team will research how to extend the 'vision' of that LIDAR array beyond obstructions while driving, analogous to the way a driver uses the entire width of a lane to see what's ahead of a larger vehicle in front. Ford says it wants to "provide the vehicle with common sense" as part of its Blueprint for Mobility, preparing for an autonomous world from 2025 and beyond.
The rust issue in the rear wheel wells of 2004-2007 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans has finally led to a recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began an investigation into the matter in 2011, said investigation being upgraded to an engineering analysis a year later while NHTSA tried to figure out how many model years should be included in the assessment.
Ford has decided to recall all of the 230,000 minivans potentially affected, namely those sold in salt-belt states and countries like Canada. The excess rust in the rear wheel wells was also able to prevent the third-row seats from locking to the floor of the minivan. To repair the problem, owners can take their minivans to dealers, and the dealers will place new panels in the wheel wells, replace the third-row seat mounting brackets and relocate the latches to an area away from any corrosion.
Ford says it will begin notifying owners during the last week of March.
In March 2013, Ford announced we'd be getting chassis cab and cutaway versions of the Transit. Since incoming Transit vans will soon be rolling over the grave of the E-Series van, it was assumed that all E-Series models would go six feet under as well. According to a report from PickupTrucks.com, however, that's not the case, the report claiming that the highly modifiable E-350 and E-450 chassis cab and cutaway versions will continue being produced in Avon Lake, Ohio "at least until 2020."
Being decades old, the be-cabbed E-Series platform has found its way under an army of heavy-duty shuttle buses, work truck and ambulances. Ford spokeswoman Jessica Enoch verified the production horizon, telling Autoblog that the particular E-Series configuration "are a higher GVWR than the Transit chassis cab and cutaway (available this summer), which is more Class 2 and a new segment for us." So there you have it.