Ford Brings Dynamic Car-Sharing Experiment to London

Most men love two things – Automobiles and Tech, and of course their wife (in case they are married) 😉

And their fascination for both cars and technology start at a very early age. In my case, since the time I turned 3, all I ever wanted as a gift was a toy car. And by the time I turned 12, I had more than 1500 car models from Hot Wheels, ModelArt etc. As I reached adolescence my love for cars was divided as I was intrigued by computers and video games (I still have my Atari 1000).

I’m 30 years old now and still love technology and automobile as much as I did 27 years ago. The only difference is that now technology is an integral part of the automobile industry. From petrol, diesel, natural gas to electric vehicles; we have a come a long way on what the car runs on and how technology enables it. Though India is still way behind in terms of adoption and use of EV’s (Electric Vehicles) we have a few hybrid and electric vehicles.

In US, we have a whole lineup of Hybrid EV’s from companies like Ford –

Ford Hybrid Vehicles 2016

As we live in one of the most polluted country in the World, I hope soon we will see similar ecosystem in our country. But till then we need vehicles that have great mileage, safety is a priority and pass all the norms set by the government. Coming back to my love for automobile and technology, few years back I had to take a decision of which car to buy and boy it was tough.

Being an expert on both the topics, I realised how easy it is to recommend a car or gadget to someone but when it comes to your own self you are dazed with too much info. I remember, I had to buy a hatchback and had a lot of options to decide from but none seemed perfect. I test drove each and every car in the market twice, thrice from different dealerships as I am finicky enough to believe that the test drive vehicle might not behave at its best. I even used my media links to try brand new cars in the factory itself and also get test drive vehicles for a week. After a month, I zeroed down on three cars and finally bought the Ford Figo Titanium Diesel for it’s value for money; safety; fuel economy and technology (both engine and electronics etc). No I’m not saying that the Figo is a perfect car or was a perfect car back then (As the new Figo is out) but it filled in all the boxes. If there is something, I could change about the Figo, it would be its acceleration and power windows in the rear doors. These 2 factors really makes it a little less perfect. Rest, I love(d) everything about the Ford Figo till I drove the Figo Aspire sometime back.

Ford Figo Aspire – One small step for Ford India, A giant leap for automobile industry

To begin with I’d like to state that I hate Ford Figo/Figo Aspire as they made my just perfect car Figo feel backward and less loved. Since the time I had the Figo Aspire for a week with me to test, I don’t feel like getting in my good old Figo. The Ford Figo Aspire is not only a benchmark for car in its price segment but even the likes of Hyundai Verna and VW Vento (which I own).

No wonder it is winning awards and accolades all over for being the compact sedan of the year 2016. You may have heard and used the term smartphone many a times but ‘Smart Car’ is term I coined even before I sat in the Figo Aspire. Wondering how can I call a car, ‘Smart Car’ even without sitting in it? The answer is Ford MyKey® !

The MyKey® technology helps encourage responsible driving. The owner/driver can program the key to a restricted driving mode setting that promotes good habits, such as increasing seat belt use, limiting vehicle top speeds and regulating audio volume. Here’s how it works –

As you can see in the above photo – I was driving without the seat belt and thanks to the Ford MyKey, I was advised to put the seat belt to listen to the audio. You’d agree with me that most people turn on loud audio and act like lunatics on road by driving rash and jumping out of their cars. Hence, this feature would save many lives and commit people to wear seat belt if they want to enjoy music while driving.

(I request you all to never drive without seat belts. This was done for test purposes, please never drive without seat belts)

Figo Aspire Speed Limiter

Next thing I tested with Ford MyKey was the speed limit feature. Before hitting the motorway/highway, I decided to set the speed limit to 140 km/h. And as you can see in the above photos, the speedometer shows that the car is at 140 km/h and the center console shows that Vehicle is about to reach the top speed. Whilst the speed limit message was being flashed on the screen, the engine was not letting me rev any further.

(This was again to test the speed limit feature. Never drive over the allowed city or motorway/highway speed limits)

Next up is MyFord Dock® , making the Aspire first-in-class car that allows users to store, mount and charge their mobile phone, MP3 player or satellite navigation system, and to integrate these devices into the car’s entertainment system. And because it’s mounted on the dashboard, it’s in a perfect, easy-to-access position.

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If connecting your smartphone with the integrated console wasn’t enough through the dock. The Figo Aspire also gets the SYNC® voice-activated system letting users connect through Bluetooth. Pair your Bluetooth®-enabled phone to make calls, use text-to-speech technology, and play your favourite music – using just the voice. Drivers can even control SYNC® with the steering wheel mounted controls. And in the unlikely event of an accident that activates an airbag or shuts off the fuel pump, SYNC®’s Emergency Assistance automatically calls emergency services and shares your exact GPS location.

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SYNC®’s AppLink™ enables users to access apps on their paired smartphone using just the voice. One can get the latest cricket scores with ESPN Cricinfo or find your way around with MapmyIndia Explore.

I can go on and on about the smart tech and safety features of the Ford Figo Aspire but the real deal is trying it out yourself. So be a smart person and give a missed call on this number 0124-6655423 to try out the safest and smartest car out there.

Ford Figo Aspire

I won’t try and defend myself, if you felt that this article is biased. But trust me, all it would take is a ride in the Figo Aspire for you to be convinced. But as the ethos of the unbiased blog goes, here the unbiased things we didn’t like about the Ford Figo Aspire –

  • No side roof handles for the driver or co-passengers to hold-on to
  • The inside of boot feels left alone thanks to cost cutting, there is no paint and there are ugly and exposed sharp edges at the back of the boot
  • Boot door Open/Close assembly is exposed and takes up a portion of the boot space
  • Fuel tank capacity is 40 litres vs. good old Figo’s 45 litres
  • Brightness/Light intensity of ORVM turn indicator bulbs is insufficient during the day
  • Even the ORVM’s could have been a bit bigger in size

In the end, I’d like to end with a quote from none other than the father of Automobile – Henry Ford.

henry ford

By Nikhil Chawla

Social Media Evangelist | Gadget Guru | Model | Photographer | Ex- BlackBerry Boy - Now iOS | WP8 | Droid. Founder and Chief at ‘The Unbiased Blog’. I breathe in WiFi zone, prefer LTE over LIT. Ex MSFT, MCP, A+ and coder. I like news to be served to me on twitter.

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