Fishkill, New York, United States
You probably had the same dream when you were a teenager. Your sixteenth birthday is coming up, or Christmas, or maybe both, and all you want is a muscle car to call your own. That dream has come true for some, and one of them was none other than Edsel Ford II.
Henry Ford's great grandson turned 16 on December 27, 1964 - two days after Christmas and eight months after the original Mustang went on sale. And that's just what was waiting for him in the driveway, courtesy of his father (and reigning chief executive) Henry Ford II.
The specially-prepared pony car had a pearlescent cream paintjob with narrow blue racing stripes, functional hood scoop, chrome trim, Euro-spec fender-mounted mirrors, a blue leather and aluminum interior, a monogrammed fuel cap... and a 289-cubic-inch V8 under the hood.
One is a member of the Detroit Three and the maker of the Mustang, Fusion, Explorer and F-150. The other is an admitted loudmouthed, drunk-driving, crack-smoking mayor in Canada. Unfortunately for one, it shares its name with the other. Yes, Ford Motor Company is going to great lengths to keep its iconic Blue Oval logo from being appropriated by supporters of besieged Toronto mayor Rob Ford.
At a United Way event earlier this week, some of Mayor Ford's fans showed up with shirts that featured the automaker's logo with the words "Ford Nation," on them. Naturally, Mayor Ford signed them. FoMoCo was quick to issue an unhappy statement:
"Ford did not grant permission for use of its logo. We view it as an unauthorized use of our trademark and have asked it to be stopped," spokesperson Jay Cooney said. There was also a statement from Ford of Canada's Twitter account after a user alerted the company:
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.