I'm with you Douglas. Why is Ford even developing something like this? I sounds like something that should be on your smart phone. The part I really don't understand is how / why Ford is picking things for their engineering group to develop. It seems it would make more sense for them to create a platform and then simply "allow" those 3rd-party developed functions that they see fit.
I think the real solution here is Google's self-driving car. Google has proven a car can drive itself from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We can really make use of onboard electronic devices if we're passengers in our own cars.
I don't know how Ford will market this but, theoretically, cost shouldn't be a big issue, since the wearer of the monitor doesn't buy it from Ford. The idea is that the platform (in this case, Sync), allows you to bring other electronic products into the vehicle at minimal effort and cost. That said, I agree with you, Doug -- I don't want e-mail, glucose monitors or Internet in my vehicle. Unless there's a ball game on, I don't even want the radio most of the time. We need more "A to B" types of vehicles.
Sure, glucose monitors and heart monitors (and labor monitors) have a certain appeal and obviously some utility. Yet I agree with Doug that an alert going off while behind the wheel on a highway or while in a traffic situation might be more of a dangerous distraction and pose a huge safety issue. And here's something else to consider: If someone is that infirm that they need constant monitoring, should they really get behind the wheel?
Cool story, Chuck, if not a bit random. While it's important for diabetics to monitor glucose levels and have a system that could possibly save them from an accident while driving, why stop there? What about people with heart conditions, for example, or a system that could tell if a pregnant woman is going into labor?
The 5 percent of the population who want these kinds of devices are probably part of the 30 percent who text while they drive creating insanely dangerous driving conditions. Only severe diabetics may need to know their sugar levels while in a car. If a passenger, they can do a test quickly on their own. If driving, they should pull over and do a test. This is an example of the excessive cost that General Motors and Ford pile into cars, making them economically unattractive. There's a significant part of the population that wants cars that get us from Point A to Point B in a safe, efficient, and reasonably economic manner. And I'll bet it's a lot more than 5 percent. OK, I'll calm down now and check my blood pressure with my Bluetooth system.
Wow. With long commutes, I can understand how consumers would be attracted to these advances. Our cars are like a personal room. Why not personal attributes? The big question is whether these features become a competitive feature for consumers.
It's great to see that big center console screen in the car being used for something which is intriniscally valuable, as opposed to another (dangerous) entertainment distraction. Hoping we will see more stuff like this going forward.
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This year, Design News is getting a head start on the Fourth of July celebration. In honor of our country and its legacy of engineering innovation -- in all of its forms -- we are taking you on an alphabetical tour through all 50 states to showcase interesting engineering breakthroughs and historically significant events.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.