Tag Archives: Escape

2011 Ford Escape For The Blind

Believe it or not, Ford has developed technology that would potentially allow a blind person to drive a vehicle.  However, it’s not just any vehicle, on display at the National Convention For The Blind annual convention is a 2011 Escape, which is outfitted with technology that will allow blind people to drive.  It’s truly a leap of faith in technology to allow an SUV on the highway with a blind person, but Ford says we are not far from that reality.

If the technology is a success and a price point can be met, blind people will have their first opportunity to drive legally.  The SUV uses technology that sense which way a persons should steer and transforms those signals into vibrations in specially developed gloves that the driver would wear.  Personally, this makes absolutely zero sense to me, but it is a real technology being used today.

It’s called nonvisual interface technology, which utilizes a drivers other senses to translate what’s going on around them.  For example, vibrations in special gloves or even compressed air being blown in the face or body of the driver to indicate when traffic is near.

Escape Hybrid

Generally attractive and hybrid don’t go in the same sentence, but Ford has done a wonderful job with their Escape Hybrid.  The Ford Escape Hybrid is a plug-in style hybrid, adorning an SUV body.  Imagine that a hybrid that seats more than 4 small kids and looks great driving down the road.

The bad news is that you won’t find the Escape Hybrid actually on the road until possibly 2012.  Not to say Ford doesn’t have a running model as we speak, some lucky journalists were able to test drive the Escape Hybrid up to 10 mph at the Detroit Auto Show.  But, it’s real hard to road test a 120 mpg SUV without going over 10 mph, and drivin garound in a basement.

Yuma Police are getting a sneak peak at the Escape Hybrid and have purchased 2 new SUV’s to put into patrol duty.  This cost Yuma Police an estimated $50,000 each, which includes all the police goodies like lights, safety equipment, etc.  Shouldn’t take too long to earn back that money with gas savings from the 120 mpg Escape Hybrid.

“We have taken them out and put them through the paces,” said Sgt. George Mitchell, lead driving instructor for YPD. “They are comparable to the Crown Victorias we are driving now, which is a pleasant surprise. The speed, handling and maneuverability is all there.”

Escape Hybrid

Escape Hybrid

According to Ford the plug-in Escape Hybrid becomes fully charged after about 6-8 hours and can be plugged into a 120v outlet.  This full-charge will deliver amazing gas mileage for about 30 miles, but then will revert back to typical hybrid fuel efficiency performance.

Video Of Ford Escape Hybrid In Action

This would possibly be the first hybrid vehicle that I would buy, for personal use.  I love the Escape Hybrid lines, utility, and promise of being able to pass more gas stations.