Three automotive technologies — rear inflatable seat belt, MyFord Touch, and MyKey – secured three wins for Ford Motor co. at this year’s Edison Best New Product Award ceremony.
The rear inflatable seat belt, which won in the “Applied Technology” segment, is a bag located in the chest portion of the belt and deploys in the event of a side or frontal crash. According to Ford, the bag reduces injuries to passengers by spreading crash “forces over five times more area of the body than conventional seat belts.” The technology debuted in the 2011 Ford Explorer and should see its way into most of the global line up.
The second award winner, MyFord Touch, is the automaker’s attempt to simplify the operation off technology found in cars today. MyFord Touch attempts to mimic popular electronics such as MP3 players and cell phones by using touchscreens, circular five-way buttons, and touch-sensitive switchgear to operate audio, navigation, climate, and other functions. The technology, however, has raised concern among some Ford and Lincoln dealers who believe the increased learning curve to use the system may scare customers away.
Ford’s MyKey took the gold in the “Remote Driving Aids” segment. MyKey was designed to give parents peace of mind and to encourage safer driving habits among teens. Owners can program a key that will set limits to a number of vehicular functions and distractions such as top speed and audio volume. Other features include a selt belt reminder and the inability to deactivate traction control.
Ford’s recognitions didn’t stop there — the Edison program presented CEO Alan Mulally with the Edison Achievement Award for his “significant and lasting contributions to innovation throughout his career.”
via Ford, Edison Awards courtesy of Motor Trend Staff