Ford Merges Futuristic Tech at the Detroit Auto Show
Ford’s blue oval trademark has symbolized America’s first car company since 1907, but at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit it represented that and more. It literally became a key to an enhanced Ford Auto Show experience for attendees who wanted to be able to influence their environment, participate in its creation, own content and share it with their friends. And it positioned Ford as a technology company as much as a vehicle company, which was a major goal for the show.
Ford’s Living Connected Experience gave visitors a peek of what might be in store for new vehicle technologies. Leading up to their visit to “the Cloud,” groups of 12 people went through five stations that explained how Ford technology is addressing future trends, including Changing Population Demographics, Emerging Technologies and Living Green. The group then boarded a 20-foot-tall elevator that rose to “the Cloud,” where they viewed a 360-degree film showcasing the future of in-vehicle technology from Ford.
After that, through the use of Augmented Reality, they could drive with Motorsports star Ken Block, ride in a Mustang on the “dyno” (short for dynamometer, which measures power) or use trivia to plan out their next great “Escape.” Using RFID technology, the Ford Blue Oval Card offered attendees a more focused, personalized visit they could share with family and friends. Users registered on-site via a simple sign-in process or online before the show, then interacted with the stand using their card. They could vote on questions and see their contributions written on large screens for everyone to view and share. They could collect data such as detailed car specifications, financing information and images for future reference. And they could save video and still images to an online profile and “like” vehicles on their Facebook pages.
After their visit, a personalized email linked them to a souvenir site containing all their memories. The card enabled Ford to monitor the most active points on-stand, measure how users moved around the booth and the kind of information they saved. Client libraries housed the interactions in user profiles that were cached locally in the event space and synced to the cloud ensuring no data was lost and providing information to cross reference later, when an attendee eventually buys a car.
The result was a fully integrated show exhibit that complied with data protection laws and a sustainable delivery model that can be rolled out again and again. Tens of thousands of visitors registered cards, collected personalized souvenirs and shared them with their friends through social media. Some of the shared videos have been viewed more than 20,000 times, driving Ford’s experience well beyond the show floor.