Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby You Can Drive My Car

As some of you may be aware, this week Chicago will be flooded with bloggers from all over as they flock to attend BlogHer 2009. I will be one of those flocking to the conference, though I am fortunate enough to be a Chicago(land) native.

A couple months back, attendees received an email about a special event taking place on Thursday before the conference begins. Ford is hosting a "What Women Want Vehicle Tech and Quality Event" and invited a number of bloggers to join in. I responded with interest and was selected to participate! From what the welcome kit indicates, we will be touring the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant, learning about manufacturing quality (specifically focusing on the 2010 Taurus), getting behind the wheel of the 2010 Ford Fusion and learning about fuel efficiency, learning more about the latest technologies, discussing vehicle quality, and participating in a roundtable about 'What Women Want' with a variety of Ford experts.

It all sounds like a blast. I'm particularly intrigued by the technology part of the program. Here are some of the things the welcome kit mentions:

*Look, no hands! Test our new Active Park Assist system that helps drivers parallel park simply by touching a button and letting go of the steering wheel.

*Stay connected with SYNC, Ford's fully integrated in-car communications and entertainment system that allows customers to operate mobile phones music players by voice commands, which is safer than manual operation of these devices.

*Parents love it, teens not so much… MyKey is a new Ford safety technology – launching this summer as standard equipment on the 2010 Focus, Taurus and other popular models – that allows owners to program a key that can limit the vehicle’s top speed and audio volume to encourage teens to drive safer.

That all sounds pretty awesome, but the Active Park Assist? That's like some space-age shit right there! I'm ridiculously excited about it and I hope it's as cool as it sounds.

I'm also excited about the roundtable. A little nervous too, because I have never given much thought to what I want in a vehicle. I love to drive and I have definite opinions about what I DO and DO NOT like in a car, but it's usually only something we deal with when we're car shopping. I'm not sure what I want is anything groundbreaking or earthshattering...but I suppose we'll find out in the round table, eh? :) I like a car that drives smooth, and fast, and handles well. I like a variety of safety features, especially for my children. I like having entertainment options at hand for car trips...and I LOVE to take road trips. In-car DVD is one of the best things to ever happen for road trips. I'd love more built in features for iPods/media players so we could hook right in. I like a lot of storage space. I like comfort. I love voice activated commands. I know that bluetooth-enabled radios and stuff are a big deal these days but I honestly don't love that feature because everyone in the damn car has to listen to your conversation. And you know what? My husband loves to talk on the phone in the car. I like to listen to music. I don't like to talk on the phone pretty much ever. I don't particularly enjoy listening to his conversations through the radio, especially when they interrupt a good song; I'd much rather he had a headset and did his own thing. I appreciate fuel efficiency and I'd love to do more for the environment.

I'm not sure I could even FATHOM cars that can do things like parallel park themselves. That is still blowing my mind!

One of the things Ford has asked us to do is discuss what women want before the event and bring opinions with us to the roundtable. So I'm opening this up to everyone who likes to share their opinion! What do YOU want in a vehicle? And if it's not readily apparent in your name, please let me know if you're male or female so I can bring that info with me to the roundtable. :)

Thanks everyone! I'm really excited about this event and am looking forward to blogging about it!

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