Ford B-Max To Debut At Consumer Electronics Show
Ford is[s] showing its fealty to the machines[/s] putting its money where its mouth is regarding telematics systems by unveiling their new B-MAX MPV at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, a week before the Geneva Auto Show begins.
The B-MAX is also expected to show off some of Ford’s newest in-car mobile technologies (which have not yet been announced to the press). Bill Ford, the company’s chairman, will deliver a keynote address on the future of mobility as well as the role that mobile technology will play in the automobile’s future. The move is not without precedent for Ford, as the company unveiled their Focus EV at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which overlapped with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Ford’s new habit of unveiling cars at electronics shows is something to look out for – don’t be surprised if other OEMs start copying the Blue Oval as they look for greater exposure for their new product. The car is not necessarily the star of an automaker’s lineup, and if major tech companies like Microsoft are on board, then launching a new car at a geek show, rather than an auto show, might be the way of the future for OEMs with major tech tie-ups – especially when their partner is launching a brand new mobile platform.
I missed the days when cars was just a car, something you can appreciate just as it is. Not a gadget nor an entertainment device nor anything else. The day when a car was good enough when its reliable and safe and got air conditioning, while radio / tape / cd is a welcomed accessory.
Some things like a GOOD sound system is a good thing, but when it's fitted with apps and the ability to make it easier to tweet, text etc while driving, not so much. I like having Bluetooth in the car as I can get going and make a quick phone call to Mom or whomever, saying I'm on the road and will be there in XX time or to simply answer a call if necessary, but to just blather on the phone the entire run of the trip, not so much and being able to do it with a touch of a button and a microphone and speakers in a hands free manner makes that possible. I'm researching head units to replace an older Alpine CD head unit in my Mazda, which replaced the stock double DIN unit in 2006-07 or so (from researching my current model HU) because it only controls an iPod and I want USB/Aux and BT integrated into it. I also need Sub pre out at the very least, preferably with Sub volume capability as well as being able to play not just MP3, but WMA and/or AAC too as I'm looking to migrate to the USB memory stick for in the car use even though I'm not abandoning the CD format any time soon, just that in the car, I can have multiple CD's on one device and not have to shuffle between CD's while trying to drive. I enjoy driving so to me, little else is of concern, not even HD or Sat radio really intriques me as I barely listen to the radio as is in the car, just my music I've compiled onto CD's. I like it best when my car emphasizes DRIVING over anything else. :-)
I go to great lengths in buying cars/trucks that lack all of these lousy infotainment systems because I find them to be gimmicky, unreliable, and dangerous distractions. So far the Work Truck market has been a safe refuge for me. But this crap is worming its way into every aspect of automotive culture. With SYNC, Ford has essentially said: "Cars are now computers, all the computer crap is now standard, deal with it. Don't want a computer car? You're an idiot, go buy some other brand that isn't as in touch with the social media influencers." And while that may have been a safe bet in the past that others wouldn't follow Ford into the computer intergration, the opposite has happened, and now car ads stress that the damn thing can geocache, access Facebook and Pandora, Twit, and read your damn text messages. I have long argued that we, as the American car buying public, are stupid and as more cars get computerized/integrated we feel lacking, inadequate, and left out if our cars don't have this garbage so I actually see customers demanding all of these systems from manufacturers and foresee it will be standard across the board for ALL cars and trucks in the next few years.
Are they actually going to call this the B-MAX? If so, I suggest the product naming geniuses take a vacation and clear their minds.