It’s a sign of the times, ya’ll. How would you like your next car to Blog? Yep. Your next car could Blog, Tweet, automatically check-in to Foursquare and more.
The new 2011 Ford Fiesta has custom-built apps that allow the car to do exactly that.
Ford engineer T.J. Giuli: The powertrain sensors – engine rpm, speed, steering inputs, g-loads, that sort of thing – can indicate to the car that it’s in one of those fun situations, and the car can then indicate that with a tweet or blog post. Similarly, if it’s at zero mph with the wipers on, the car might decide it’s sitting in traffic in the rain and send a sad tweet. Either way, we wanted to allow the car to become a blogger.
You catch that? The car will blog and Tweet. Makes ya glad to be alive in these times, doesn’t it? Here’s how it came about:
A year ago Ford reached out to University of Michigan students with what the auto maker called American Journey 2.0. The goal was to discover what sort of social networking apps could be developed with the vehicle. Some of the custom-made apps include:
– Virtual Road Rally, which allows users to define points-of-interest along with physical landmarks and then come up with a sort of treasure hunt that can be shared. But it can also share fuel consumption stats and other info that can stir up a rally-type competition. Virtual Road Rally could lend its hand to tourism as well. In theory it can lead drivers to small towns or out-of-the way attractions.
– Local Search. The name pretty much says it all, but it goes on step further with automatic Foursquare check-ins – seriously. Automatic check-ins.
– Caravan Track automatically tracks the road conditions and alerts you to construction, detours, traffic and more.
– “Auto”matic Blog which is connected to the cars vital systems and can automatically word a tweet based on driving conditions.
The students, along with Ford engineers – will be showcasing the car and its apps by driving across country and stopping at universities along the way. You can follow the tweets through @AJtheFiesta or through the campaign’s official web site.
It is indeed, a brave new world, folks.