Friday, September 18, 2015

Smart Mobility with Ford

As some of you know from my Facebook feed, last January we purchased a new car. While I loved it, the 2-door coupe I purchased in 2007 when I was unmarried and child-free was no longer cutting it with a toddler and a rear facing child seat. After a lot of thought about the future, we decided to go all out and get a 3-row SUV and the issue of a too small car wouldn't ever be an issue again.

We looked at a number of vehicles in that class and ended up with a Honda Pilot. The Ford Explorer was a pretty close second. I love the car and some of the fun features it has like a back up camera and blue tooth. 

Honda Accord and Pilot

We aren't buying a new car any time soon, but I was still excited when the invitation to the Ford Smart Mobility Event showed up in my email a couple weeks ago. It was as if my current life and my former life collided. When we were living in Richmond, I managed a number of mobility and transportation projects at the research firm I worked for. The Orlando Ford event was held on the campus where I work now.

Since I am a data nerd, the information about driving in the area and how technology can help make things safer was interesting. It is not surprising that researchers found Orlando residents are afraid of driving in low viability situations.

Finding out about Ford's Smart Mobility Options

We also got to see how technology is both making the vehicles we drive safer and providing additional mobility options. The adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, lane-keeping and parking assist technologies were very cool. I even got to try the parallel parking assist. That was amazing. As a parent, the additional safety features would be really useful because while you can put the phone down, it is hard to take away the distraction of a toddler screaming for a drink, her paci or asking to hear animal boogie one more time.

I also appreciate that Ford is working on mobility solutions beyond adding technology to cars. I could see a time when a flexible ownership option or multi-modal transportation option could work for our family. Because of the way the area was designed, the traffic in Orlando is not going to get better as the we continue to grow. Getting cars off the road is going to be a challenge.

I enjoyed the event and I can't wait to see how cars have changed by the next time we are in the market. It may be wishful thinking, but maybe then this mama can get a convertible? For now I will just have to make due with borrowing Grandma's.

E in Grandma's Ford Convertable
Yeah, Grandma's car is much cooler than Mommy's

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event for free, but not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own.