Ford, the company that defined the crossover utility vehicle segment, today introduced new automated driving technologies in the Ford Edge Concept. The technologies include a push-button and remote-operated parking feature customers could use from either inside or outside the vehicle.
“The original Ford Edge offered customers in North America a fresh, compelling choice for an accommodating, efficient and safe medium utility vehicle,” said Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of The Americas, Ford Motor Company. “The next-generation Edge – previewed in the Ford Edge Concept – will build on these cornerstones to create a global vehicle with technology to make life easier, and design and craftsmanship to appeal to customers around the globe.”
Key attributes of the Ford Edge Concept – a sleek, sporty appearance; capability; fuel efficiency; and technology that assists the driver – are in line with what customers value around the world, which is driving global growth in the utility vehicle segment.
Data provided by IHS Automotive indicate global utility vehicle sales grew 45 percent between 2007 and 2012. The utility segment now accounts for more than 13 million sales annually – 17 percent of the global automotive market.
Utility vehicle sales in China are projected to grow significantly, by more than 100 percent from 2012 to 2017, according to IHS Automotive. In South America the utility segment is projected to grow 39 percent, and in Europe it is projected to grow 27 percent over the same period.
The current Ford Edge remains a segment sales leader in the United States. Edge is especially well-received in Southern California, where it accounts for nearly one in four sales this year of five-passenger medium utility vehicles. With market share of 23 percent, Ford Edge is the best-selling five-passenger utility vehicle in Southern California, according to Ford analysis of retail registration data from R.L. Polk.
Moreover, U.S. Ford-brand utility sales overall are up 12 percent through October compared to last year, and Ford utility vehicles will be America’s best-selling utility brand for three straight years in 2013, as it is outpacing the nearest competitor by 32 percent through October.
Advanced features to make smarter vehicles and better drivers Driver-assist technologies and semi-automated features in Edge Concept hint at a future offering even more intelligent and capable vehicles from Ford. These sensor-based technologies form the building blocks for the future of automated driving, and will help make driving safer and more efficient.
“The rate of change in vehicle technology right now is unprecedented,” noted Raj Nair, Ford group vice president of global product development. “Our engineers around the world are advancing the systems that will ultimately help make drivers smarter, safer and more efficient. From advanced engine systems to collision avoidance and automated driving systems, Ford will continue to lead in delivering the technologies consumers want and need.”