Ford Motor Company’s Classic F-150 Gets Luxury/Tech Upgrades

It seems that as Ford Motor Company reworks of its best money maker, the F-150, the reworkings are mostly changes to the interior. The changes are luxury oriented including recliner sleeper seats and hands-free technology.

Believe it or not, sleep was a demand of many truck buyers. These buyers purchased almost 900k F-Series trucks last year. This was worth about $42 billion to Ford Motor Company. Perhaps in opposition to many people’s assumptions Ford F-Series customers want something more like a first-class experience in a truck cabin. They don’t want a no-frills work vehicle.

With many competitors from General Motors Company or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles offering modern creature comfort in trucks Ford felt the pressure and decided to upgrade the F-150.

The new F-150, available later this year, will provide a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment center matching what its Dodge Ram competitor offers. Additionally, the new F-150 will be available as a hybrid or an EV in about two years according to Ford. The hybrid will include a generator feature that Ford says could power a worksite or home. The F-150 will also become the first Ford to offer over-air software updates just like Tesla has offered for years. The hands-free driving feature is coming from the electric Mustang Mach-E (available later this year).

Uber Goes Old School

Uber is trying out a new-to-them method of communicating with customers who want to hail on of their ride. What is this method? A regular old phone call

This new service is being tested in Arizona and is aimed at older users who aren’t hip to the Uber’s app-based service. The service is even more low-tech than first glances reveal—Uber users would call a number from any mobile phone to speak with a live operator (in Spanish or English) who servers as a go between for the rider and the driver. Essentially, the operator works the app for the customer.

Users would need a mobile that at least has basic texting functions to receive messages about ETA, details about the driver and the car as well as digital receipts.

Uber says an account can easily be setup the first time a user calls so there is no need to even pre-register. The only additional charge for the service would be standard carrier rate for sending and receiving text messages.

Uber says the service will be available soon all across the United States.


Ford Welcome’s Some Employees’ Furry Friends to Work

When Ford, for the first time in seventy years, went outside its own organization to hire a CFO besides an impressive resume Tim Stone came with something unusual. He brought his furry pal Finely, a 7 year old Australian shepherd that comes to work with Stone nearly every day.

Finely isn’t just a well-behaved office mate whose job description focuses on stress-reduction. He is kind of a mascot for a new program at Ford offering 1,300 office employees the chance to bring their dog to work.

This comes as part of a larger program to grab from the pool of hard to attract tech talent to the Motor City. Other initiatives include a campus redesign that does away with hierarchy and turning an old train station into a modern office space.

In a search for hundreds more tech experts. Places like Seattle and Silicon Valley have long offered similar campus layouts and bring your pet to work programs. Studies show that having access to a dog can not only reduce stress but increase productivity. One Amazon campus has about 7,000 registered dogs.