Ford EVOS Concept coming to Frankfurt Motorshow 2011? (and to a Cloud near you too)
Ford recently unveiled this striking concept vehicle that they are calling the Ford EVOS Concept. And the demo build model may be making an appearance at this months’ Frankfurt Motor Show. Whether it makes it onto a showroom floor near you or not is another matter.
Either way though, elements and features of the EVOS will find their way into future Ford models, including the use of “Cloud Optimisation” technology to develop an optimised and very personalised driving experience.
“We wanted the Ford Evos Concept to give a clear message about where Ford design is heading – shaping vehicles that are fun to drive, have a premium appeal but, above all, are stunningly beautiful.” – J Mays, Ford Group Vice President, Design, and Chief Creative Officer
And whilst, as is the case with many concept cars, the EVOS Concept will probably never see full production, many of its features and functionalities might well be found on the next generation of Ford consumer vehicles.And maybe even sooner than that:
“… we’re not building it!” said Mr. Mays. “At least we are not building this specific coupe. But you will see elements of its design in Ford’s future products starting four months from now.”
The technological foundations of the Evos Concept build on trends in personal communication and alternative motive power already evident in Ford’s SYNC communications system and hybrid powerplants.
Specifically, four areas are targeted: personalization, enhancement of the driving experience, driver well-being and electrified powertrain optimization.
Personalization options revolve around cloud connectivity, combining the driver’s preferences and driving habits with data from the “cloud,” such as work schedules, local traffic and weather conditions. According to Ford, “the car gets to know you.”
Examples of this relationship-building include automatically playing the same music or news program that was streaming in the home, setting the interior environment before the driver arrives, based on the owner’s calendar, wirelessly communicating with devices in the home, closing the garage door and switching off the lights as the driver leaves home.
The Evos Concept considers the driving experience from the perspective of actively managing the vehicle’s tuning and performance based on the abilities and preferences of the driver, as opposed to creating a vehicle that generalizes the driving experience based on a cross-section of drivers.
Powertrain, steering, suspension and braking systems can be adjusted for optimum results while overlaying weather and map data from the cloud. Enhanced driver engagement is the goal.
Driver well-being is the third area of development for car manufacturers via cloud connectivity. The idea is to relieve driver stress by accessing air quality data and suggesting a healthier route to a destination, monitoring heart rate and building allergy-free interiors.
Finally, optimizing the hybrid powertrain, again via the cloud, is the fourth targeted area. Ford plans a “powersplit” hybrid architecture that allows the electric motor and gasoline engine to work separately or together to maximize efficiency. This powertrain would typically run in electric vehicle (EV) mode and switch to a charge-sustaining hybrid mode to optimize fuel efficiency.
The “cloud-optimized powertrain” would determine the optimum time to switch modes, using information acquired from the predicted travel route and emission zone restrictions (already a developing trend in European cities). The Ford Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) system would produce a driving range of 800 kilometres using the battery and engine.
Find out more, download pdf specifications, and see more pictures of the Ford EVOS Concept here: