"We wanted a vehicle to perform in a certain way when it hit a certain spot," said Smith.
The team quickly discovered that collecting and analyzing the vast amounts of data needed to make such predictions would require an immense hardware and software system – one that would demand too many resources, both in terms of initial development and inside each vehicle.
A breakthrough came, say Smith and Frederick, when they developed a way to reach their goal without the need to collect and store droves of information. Instead, their answer was to engineer a way to analyze incoming GPS information and control distribution of a vehicle's power based on those data.
"We realized that harnessing data already available was the way we could achieve our goal of improving the entire hybrid vehicle driving experience," said Frederick. "Once we had access to the data, we applied machine learning principles to predict frequently visited locations that would determine what powertrain controls should be applied to achieve our goal."Every new Ford with SYNC has GPS equipment built into the SYNC module. Ford's award-winning SYNC communications and entertainment system enables voice-activated communication through a driver's mobile phone and interaction with the car's audio system. Among its many features and options, SYNC provides location-based services, such as turn-by-turn directions, and now shares GPS coordinates with EV+. Additionally, SYNC uses GPS to relay information about vehicle location to emergency personnel in the event of an accident through 911 Assist ® when the feature is properly activated. About Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com . SOURCE Ford Motor Company