Ford's European division has been experiencing financial difficulties for years, and now the Blue Oval is getting serious about staunching the outward flow of cash there.Part of Ford's grand plan to turn Ford Europe around is to cut 5,000 jobs from its various facilities in Germany, plus an unspecified amount of jobs in the UK, Automotive News reports.By US auto industry standards, 5,000 jobs isn't too big of a drop in the bucket, but since Ford Europe only employs around 53,000 people, that represents a cut of nearly 10 percent and that's not exactly small potatoes.In addition to cutting jobs, Ford plans to pull itself out of various market segments, close plants and discontinue models that aren't generating much profit.This looks like a similar tactic to what the automaker has pledged to do in the US by discontinuing nearly all of its car models in favor of SUVs and crossovers.All these job cuts and other austerity measures would sting under normal circumstances, but Automotive News separately reported that Ford CEO Jim Hackett took home $17.75 million in his first year on the job, up from $16.7 million in 2017, and it wasn't even that great of a year for the company.
Ford Europe is back with another interesting innovation, this one designed to solve the age-old problem of people who hog the bed.Tired of your significant other crowding your side of the mattress?This Ford smart bed can automatically roll them back onto their own side, helping each person get restful sleep without resorting to separate beds.The new smart bed joins the smart dog house Ford Europe introduced last year.Ford points toward the growing trend of “bed divorce,” in which a couple chooses to sleep in separate beds in order to avoid disruptions at night, which are often caused by one person crowding the other.The company has dubbed its new innovation the Lane-Keeping Bed, one that utilizes Ford’s automotive tech to solve an annoying household problem.
Ford Europe likes taking inspiration from its driver-assist systems and adapting them to tackle problems outside the car.After building an impressive dog kennel, the automaker has turned its attention to mattress hogs.Ford's Lane-Keeping Bed was built to keep each half of a couple on their respective side of the bed.Pressure sensors determine if one person crosses over the mattress's centerline.When that happens, a set of integrated conveyor belts shifts the whole bed, putting each person back on their respective sides.The inspiration comes from lane-keep assist, which uses light steering effort to guide a vehicle away from the lines on either side of the road.
Watch this game of moist mechanical musical chairsVid Picture a massive robotic arm gloved with a damp, arse-shaped cushion twerking into a chair for three days straight.That's how automaker Ford tests the durability of its car seats, at least in Europe.The car biz, which now fancies itself a mobility service company, revealed its backside simulator, referred to as "Robutt," when it rolled out its 2018 model year Ford Fiesta in Europe.The robotic bottom – more a backside attachment for a robot arm than a machine undo itself – was initially used to simulate material stress over time in dry conditions.Now, the Robutt has been enhanced to sweat, because exercising and then driving is apparently commonplace.
Times are tough in Europe for carmakers, as evidenced by Thursday's Reuters report that both Ford and Jaguar Land Rover are laying off large swaths of employees.Jaguar Land Rover will be releasing a little over 10 percent of its workforce while Ford is keeping its numbers private.These massive layoffs stem from many contributing factors including the US' trade difficulties with China, China's slowing car market, Brexit, reduced demands for diesel vehicles and stricter emissions requirements.According to Reuters' report, Jaguar lost £354 million in the span between April and September of 2018, and the looming threat of a no-deal Brexit could cause losses in 2019 to be even worse if operating costs aren't reined in.Ford Europe currently employs 53,000 people, and while we don't have a specific number that Ford will be laying off, reports put it in the thousands.Ford is also contemplating the closure of several of its European manufacturing facilities in an attempt to move that division's finances from red to black.
Ford (yes, the car-maker) has created a noise-canceling kennel to keep man's best friend safe and happy during noise New Year's Eve celebrations.Research by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has revealed that 43% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when exposed to the sound of fireworks.Ford's kennel uses the same technology found in vehicles and noise-canceling headphones to protect pups' sensitive ears and help stop them panicking.The dog house, which is only a prototype for now, is insulated with high-density cork and a sound system that emits opposing frequencies to cancel loud noises (or at least dramatically reduce them).The idea was inspired by the noise-damping technology used in the Ford Edge SUV, which uses the car's audio system to cancel noise while driving.“We wondered how the technologies we use in our cars could be applied to help in other situations," says Lyn West, brand content manager of marketing communications for Ford of Europe.
Ford Europe has put its automotive technology to use solving a big problem that many dog owners face: fireworks.These events are popular and often happen at least once a year, depending on one’s location, offering entertainment but also terrifying local dogs confused by the noise.With Ford’s new doghouse, these pets have a safe place to retreat away from the noise.Around half of dogs exhibit signs of fear when exposed to firework noises, which they recognize as unnatural and may perceive as a threat.Pet owners have different methods for dealing with this fear, including everything from ear protection to isolating the pet in a basement where the noise is muffled.Ford has a classier, more effective solution in the form of its own doghouse.
Ford will start 2019 on a high note.It will travel to the Detroit Auto Show to introduce a high-performance variant of the Mustang called GT500 and, most likely, the next-generation Explorer.But before the sheets come off, it’s ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market for the first time.The company has plucked noise-canceling technology from its vehicle portfolio to give dogs a quieter place to sleep, especially when fireworks go off.“We wondered how the technologies we use in our cars could help people in other situations.Making sure dogs and their owners could enjoy a stress-free New Year’s Eve seemed like the perfect application for our Active Noise Control system,” said Lyn West, Ford of Europe’s brand content manager, in a statement.
Ford is getting into the electric work-vehicle game in a big way in Germany thanks to tech from the DeutschePost startup StreetScooter.Ford's Turkey-built Transit van is the basis for the StreetScooter Work XL, a kind of a small-to-medium-size box van that will initially be sold to DHL.The van went into production Tuesday.The StreetScooter Work XL will be assembled in Cologne, Germany, at Ford's European headquarters, according to Automotive News Europe, with a planned production capacity of around 3,500 vehicles per year."With Ford, we have found the ideal partner who understands our flexible and customer-oriented way of production," Achim Kampker, CEO and founder of StreetScooter, said in a statement Tuesday."Together, we are promoting electromobility in Germany and making inner‑city delivery traffic more environmentally friendly and quieter.
Assuming all goes as expected, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, could be a noteworthy day for Ford Motor Company performance fans – if they live in Europe.Ford Europe has been teasing the launch of the 2019 Ford Focus with video and still shots in anticipation of the hot hatch’s debut.American buyers have to wait a year.Ford appeased disappointed Focus RS fans in 2017 when the Blue Oval company announced 2018 would be the final year for the then-current third-generation Focus RS.Ford announced a limited edition of 1,500 Focus RS’s 1,000 for the U.S. and 500 for Canada.The current year Focus ended production April 6.
Ford s self-driving cars are coming to Europe.The Detroit automaker plans to begin testing its autonomous cars in European countries next year, the company announced Tuesday.Because rules of the road, traffic signs, and road layouts differ from country to country in Europe, it's important that the company test in the region, Thomas Lukaszewicz, manager of automated driving at Ford of Europe, said in a press statement.Ford has a bold vision for its driverless future.The company currently has about 30 self-driving cars in its fleet, but it plans to triple that number in 2017, bringing the total number of cars in its fleet to about 100.What's more, the company also plans to launch a fleet of autonomous taxis for public use in at least one city in the US by 2021.But, unlike other automakers, Ford s self-driving cars won't have a steering wheel, gas or brake pedals.Most major car companies have said that they are planning to roll out a self-driving car sometime during the next five years, but the levels of autonomy vary.
Ford Europe has installed a pair of 'collaborative robots' on its production line in Cologne, Germany, ostensibly to help fit shock absorbers to Fiestas.But in a video that the company just released, you can see their real purpose - making coffee for the workers.The robots, which were developed in collaboration with German robotics firm KUKA Roboter, are about a metre tall and equipped with sensors that stop them if they detect obstacles in their path.That's important, as last year a worker was killed at a Volkswagen production plant by a malfunctioning industrial robot.Ford says that its new bot is capable of pinpoint accuracy, strength and dexterity, which probably comes in handy when brewing coffee and giving high fives."Working overhead with heavy air-powered tools is a tough job that requires strength, stamina, and accuracy.
Ford is partnering workers with specially designed robots in order to improve manufacturing in one of its European factories.The specially designed collaborative robots – called co-bots – are being used alongside staff at Ford s factory in Cologne, Germany, to help fit shock-absorbers to its line of Fiestas.The co-bots contain a series of sensors to avoid obstructing human co-workers, and they also carry out the load bearing needed when installing different parts on to the car.Ford says the experiment is part of its investigation into Industry 4.0′, the idea that we are in the fourth industrial revolution that embraces automation and new manufacturing technologies.Karl Anton, the director of vehicle operations for Ford of Europe, said: Robots are helping make tasks easier, safer and quicker, complementing our employees with abilities that open up unlimited worlds of production and design for new Ford models.The bots are able to detect any arms or fingers that are in their way, with work also taking place to improve the gestures and hand movements the co-bots can make, having so far extended to hand shakes and making coffee.
Tucci, IBM UK, Microsoft UK and more put pen to paperAmerican storage seller EMC is the latest tech tanker to tell the good burghers of Britain it wants the country to remain in the EU, and it even did so without mentioning Hitler or ISIS.Outgoing CEO Big Joe Tucci and execs at other big businesses including Cisco, Ford of Europe, Airbus, Mars, IBM UK and Microsoft UK signed a letter stating their case and sent it to the FT.UK and Ireland boss at EMC Ross Fraser tried to explain why his employer felt sufficiently compelled to add to the rhetoric ahead of the 23 June date when the British public have a chance to vote.He said the UK would benefit from continued participation in the European Economic Area and European Free Trade Associate or be faced with negotiating bi-lateral trade deals with Europe and the rest of the world.EMC are advocates of an EU-wide regulatory agenda, the Digital Single Market and reckoned the UK needs to keep its place at the negotiating table in ongoing discussions about Privacy Shield.Fraser claimed the tech industry is all about freedom of data and collaborative innovation and both of these could become significantly more complicated if the UK decides to remove itself as a member of the world s largest trade bloc .Earlier this week Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise both came out in favour of Remain, as did IBM and SAP last month.