On Board Water Dispenser and a Hoverboard That Follows You Around from Ford

The car industry is a very constricting place for a technician. They are very rarely allowed to let their imagination run wild, so besides the actual work that gets them paid at the end of the month, most of them also run personal side projects.
Center console water tap 5 photos
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
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Ford seems to encourage such activities since, during its annual "Further with Ford" event, it showcased three very different inventions that have very little in common apart from the fact they would make life easier for all of us.

First off is the aptly-named On-the-go H2O. If you've paid attention during a hot summer day, you might have noticed cars leaving a pool of water when remaining stationary for a while with their engines running. That was the condensation caused by the air conditioning units, and one Ford engineer though about using that water that is otherwise wasted.

It all sounds reasonable so far, but this is where it gets a little ridiculous. Instead of collecting the water in a recipient - something like a bottle - the Ford employee built a water dispenser on the vehicle's center console. The engineer thinks it could be useful in places where clean water is hard to come by, but I doubt they have cars with air conditioning and the gasoline to spare there.

The second one is probably the most useful, and also the simplest. What it does is turn your smartphone into a remote control for the most basic features of the car. With the help of an app, you'll be able to change the temperature, the radio station, and... that's about it. The inventor of this app believes it will be useful once autonomous cars are introduced: instead of mirroring the controls for both the front and rear seats, this could provide a much simpler solution.

Also, it also has a voice to text (and the other way around) feature with integrated translation so a passenger and a driver of different nationalities could have a dialogue without distracting the latter too much.

Finally, we have Carr-E, which is described as a commuting alternative that can also double as a personal assistant than can carry your luggage around. It fits in your trunk so you can take it out for that last mile of your commute through the busy city center. The thing is, so would a scooter. Or a foldable bicycle.

The Carr-E is essentially a Segway that looks like a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. Why you would want to be seen riding around on a domestic appliance is beyond us, but apparently nobody will walk anymore in the future, so we need things to Carr-E us around at just about the same speed. Whenever I see stuff like this, I immediately think of the humans in Disney's Wall-E animation. And now I've just realized how similar these two names are. Coincidence? I don't think so.

It's nice to see grown men fool around and pursue their ideas, no matter how ridiculous they might be. Ford deserves all the credit for letting this happen, and even encouraging it by including these three inventions in its main event. They don't really push things forward, but who knows what they will come up with the next year?
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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