In the news this week…

Ford’s Facebook Car

Ford Facebook Car

Ford has launched a limited edition version of its EcoSport, with orders for the vehicle being taken through the social networking site, Facebook.

It costs £16,995 and only 500 units have been made, with just 120 reserved for the UK market -but what’s so special about it, apart from its Facebook-blue paint job?
Well, it looks like Ford are pushing their in-car app functionality with a new, more advanced version of Ford’s Sync AppLink infotainment system.

Upgrades to the system include the addition of Autoread (currently available on android and iOS devices) which allows the driver to dictate text messages and emails and have the responses read back to them completely hands-free.

The EcoSport also features’s app for booking hotel rooms, and Wcities Eventseeker’s popular app for spotting nearby events, which are displayed on the in-car Sat-Nav.

Ford have embraced all-new in-car technology this year, with the app-ready EcoSport launching just a few weeks after we first heard about the Ford S-Max Concept’s intuitive road safety and traffic flow ‘car-to-car’ communication features.

But Ford differs from other manufacturers in its willingness to make its software (which is completely open source) available to other developers and manufacturers to improve and add new functionality.

So will Fords be the smartest, most practical cars on UK roads in a few years?

Conkers or bonkers?

Conkers or Bonkers

Three car parks in Leeds and Manchester city centre have devised a way to offset the release of emissions caused by drivers travelling to them.
Their solution? To pay with conkers.

A conker is valued at 20p each, so it only takes a handful to secure a couple of hours parking in the busy centres (with £10 worth of conkers being the maximum redeemable amount).

All the conkers collected by Town Centre Car Parks (TCCP) – the parking chain responsible for the scheme – will be donated to Hetchell Wood Nature Reserve in Leeds, where they hope money will be raised to help increase the profile of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s woodlands.