The future is closer than you think

Remember when you were a kid watching the Jetsons (ok well maybe some of you don’t) and their flying cars that just took them wherever – or Knight Rider when Kitt took over and just drove around itself? It all seemed so far out there, like it was too far out there to ever be a reality. Well, seems like self-driving cars isn’t that far out there afterall. We might just see the future sooner than we thought.

This all comes up in a presentation by Bill Ford Jr. the great-grandson of car pioneer Henry Ford. His points were made to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. He said that we could be putting our vehicles on auto pilot within the next 10 years. TEN YEARS! I don’t know whether to be excited or scared!

He believes that it will happen in three stages.

Near-term – In the next five years, he said vehicles will be equipped with car-to-car warning systems and will be able to drive themselves in slow traffic and even park themselves.

Mid-term – Between 2017 and 2025, Ford believes cars will have the technology to reduce the role of the driver markedly, and that many automobiles will be at least semi-autonomous. He also talked of “vehicle platooning” whereby vehicles proceed pretty much bumper to bumper through the use of car-mounted sensors. This will improve safety and save space on roads which will by that time be busier than ever.

Long-term – At some point from 2025, Ford said he expected that many vehicles will be fully autonomous.

Now there is no telling when these will actually roll out in Waldorf, or when they will be available in Ford vehicles. But if the push for technology by Bill Ford Jr and Alan Mulally is any indication of the future, Ford will be on the cutting edge and one of the first to put these into production.

Sources: Dailymail and Digital Trends

Things to consider when car shopping

We came across a great article on The Auto Channel and thought they had some pretty great points.

1 – Determine your PRACTICAL NEEDS for a new vehicle;

How will you be using your new car? How many passengers will you be carrying? What type of topography will you be driving on? How far will you be driving each week? Will your new car be too tall to fit into your garage? Will your 6’5” son be able to sit in the back seat? Do you need to haul lots of luggage or recreational gear? Will you be in a car pool? ETC.

2 – Determine your BUDGET and STICK TO IT

Remember the cost of the vehicle is just one of your monthly costs. Fuel, Maintenance, Depreciation, End Value, Insurance, Repairs are just a few of the additional costs of operating a car.

3 – Determine your EMOTIONAL NEEDS, which car or truck really makes you happy when you drive it.

Today’s cars and trucks are made really well and with the proper care will remain serviceable almost forever, the average age a consumer owns their car has risen to over 8 years…so if you hate it you will have a lot of disagreeable moments over the next decade…so you better make sure you are really happy with your choice.

4 – Test Drive, Test Drive, Test Drive, Test Drive

Buying your next vehicle should not just be a couple of hour task but should take place only after careful considerations and research. And after investing your time to do steps 1,2 and 3, and then coming up with your short list of potentials, DON’T BLOW IT! Spend your next two weekends driving each car or truck on your short list.

4A. Do not test drive with your spouse or partner

Do it alone. Then compare notes about each car, by being alone no matter what you are offered or pressured to do, you have a built in excuse not to buy until you talk to your significant other, make sure you are absolutely 100% sure you can have a long term relationship with this vehicle!

TEST DRIVE WITHOUT A TIME LIMIT

Take your Test Drives not for 10 minutes but for hours, take your potential purchases to the same places you will be driving each day, see how it parks in your regular parking lot… see how it handles a trip to the supermarket, see how it handles the bumpy roads on your shortcuts, see how it does in the rain (or snow and ice), see how it does in stop and go traffic, because the decision you make will either make you happy or miserable forever, and aren’t you worth the time to find out?

The team here at Waldorf Ford agrees with all of these points, with the exception of maybe one. We will say, we would rather have you test drive with your significant other, simply because if you do decide to purchase while you are here, the process will be easier. We will not pressure you or hassle you into buying if you are not ready. However if you feel more comfortable without your other half, then we are happy to help you by answering any and all questions and by taking you on a test drive. We want satisfied customers before, during and after the sale.

When you are ready to buy your new car, we hope that Waldorf Ford will be on your short list of places to shop. We are located on Route 301 north in Waldorf MD, just 15 minutes south of Washington DC.