Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print

Lincoln C Concept

Ford Motor Co., Dearborn

Lincoln C Concept
Photograph by Nick Martines

While it may conjure up images of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the futuristic Lincoln C Concept, unveiled in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, was equipped with what’s believed to be the world’s first human-machine interface. It works like this: A driver develops a lifelike custom avatar, complete with a personalized name, that appears on a sophisticated computer screen set in the dashboard.

“Eva, could you please call Frank’s office and see if he’s available for lunch tomorrow at Sergio’s?” a female driver might say. “I want to discuss Project X with him. Also, I remember reading some background on the project in The Wall Street Journal. Could you pull that up and read it back to me?” A few seconds later, “Eva” corrects the driver by telling her that the article actually appeared in The New York Times and proceeds to read the piece. After a few paragraphs, the driver asks Eva to forward the story to her desktop, and then asks the avatar to map out the most fuel-efficient route to the restaurant.

In an instant, Eva produces a digital map and outlines the journey. The interface also confirms that Frank can meet her at the restaurant at noon. The avatar, which never gets rattled and exudes a pleasant personality, may be the most efficient personal assistant ever created. J Mays, Ford’s group vice president of design, says the Lincoln C takes the most “engaging technologies and wraps them in a design fit for today’s urban luxury customer.” Judging by the positive reaction to the vehicle at the auto show, Ford can’t get the technology into its future vehicles fast enough.

Tell Us Your Thoughts

Comments are moderated for appropriate language.

Add your comment:

Read More Articles


This site is a member of the City & Regional Magazine Association Online Network