Ford Smartwatch App Tracks Electric Vehicle Driving Range, Parking Location

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Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. has developed an app extension for smartwatches that will allow drivers to find the location of where they last parked and give them the ability to check the driving range and battery charge on their electric vehicle.

Ford says the app, which will soon be available for smartwatches including Android Wear, will allow drivers to check driving habits over time, as well as heat or cool their car remotely.

The app is part of an announcement made by the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, Calif. Researchers at the center are working on the Ford Smart Mobility Plan in an effort to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, and autonomous vehicles.

In related news, Ford announced pre-collision assist and pedestrian detection technology will be made available in the U.S. next year on a Ford-brand vehicle. The company has plans to offer the features globally by 2019.

“During the next five years, we will move to migrate driver-assist technologies across our product lineup to help make our roads safer and continue to increase automated driving capability,” says Raj Nair, group vice president of global product development for Ford.

The company has appointed 30-year Ford veteran Randy Visintainer to lead autonomous vehicle development.

Ford is also partnering with Redwood City-based Carbon3D, which developed a 3-D printing technology. Carbon3D develops parts that have mechanical properties that are applicable for a range of automotive-grade parts.

“This technology enables us to quickly create automotive-grade parts for product design prototypes — and perhaps even production parts — faster than ever before, so we can deliver new vehicles to customers even sooner,” Nair says.

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