Drive Type: C4 automatic
Model: Model A
Trim: 1931 Slant Windshield Model A Ford
Hawkins, Texas, United States
In a show of generosity in mid-August, Detroit's business leaders donated $8 million to the Police Department and Fire Department in order to buy 100 new police vehicles and 23 EMS ambulances. But now officers have discovered - and complained - that the police vehicles have glaring safety issues, Deadline Detroit reports. It is not made clear what models of the fleet vehicles - which include police versions of the Ford Taurus, the Chevrolet Caprice and the Dodge Charger - are affected by the safety issues.
Officers reportedly have complained that the Plexiglass partition separating front-seat officers and back-seat prisoners is easily breached, and that the front passenger seat is installed too close to the dashboard. Prisoners who manage to writhe out of their handcuffs can bend the Plexiglass and reach into the cockpit, and sitting too close to the dashboard can render airbags more dangerous and make officers more vulnerable to injury in a crash.
Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, received the complaints and reportedly said the vehicles would get safety updates addressing the issues. But Deadline Detroit reports that it checked some of the offending police cars and, as of the last few days, they hadn't been updated.
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.
Ford has quite a party ready for the Goodwood Festival of Speed starting on June 27. Not only is the 2015 Mustang going to be driving in front of the European public for the first time, the Blue Oval is also unveiling its 2015 refresh for the Focus ST.
Official details about the latest Focus hot hatch are practically nonexistent at this point. Ford's teaser image shows narrower headlights, and the company says that the ST also benefits from the technical and quality improvements from the refreshed standard model, which likely means an even more Aston-Martin-like grille. However, any improvements for the power or handling are a mystery for now.
Ford will even give visitors to the festival the chance to drive the new ST - at least virtually. Gran Turismo 6 kiosks will be on hand with the hot hatch loaded up to race the Goodwood Hill Climb. There will also be real-time races between former Stig Ben Collins in the real ST challenging a player up the hill in the game.