Ford’s new technology chief ponders the future of driving and mobility

Ken Washington, Ford's new Vice President of Research and Advanced Engineering

Global trends appear to be moving towards a future where in many markets, car ownership may look like an expensive, impractical and inconvenient way to get around. So what’s the next model of personal transport, and where do the big automakers fit in? Ford’s new global VP of Research and Advanced Engineering, Ken Washington, sat down in Melbourne for a “crystal ball” discussion about autonomous cars, on-demand vehicles, car sharing, smart parking, multi-mode transport, and how a car company might learn to cater to a new generation of customers that are far more interested in upgrading their phones than getting their driver’s licenses… Continue Reading Ford’s new technology chief ponders the future of driving and mobility

Section: Automotive

Tags: Automotive, Autonomous, Driving, Ford, Research, Transport

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Ford’s new technology chief ponders the future of driving and mobility

Ken Washington, Ford's new Vice President of Research and Advanced Engineering

Global trends appear to be moving towards a future where in many markets, car ownership may look like an expensive, impractical and inconvenient way to get around. So what’s the next model of personal transport, and where do the big automakers fit in? Ford’s new global VP of Research and Advanced Engineering, Ken Washington, sat down in Melbourne for a “crystal ball” discussion about autonomous cars, on-demand vehicles, car sharing, smart parking, multi-mode transport, and how a car company might learn to cater to a new generation of customers that are far more interested in upgrading their phones than getting their driver’s licenses… Continue Reading Ford’s new technology chief ponders the future of driving and mobility

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Section: Automotive

Tags: Automotive, Autonomous, Driving, Ford, Research, Transport

Related Articles:

All images and written content is property of the listed RSS FEED if you would like more on this story and images please click the listed feed. http://feeds.feedblitz.com/Gizmag

Diamond Frights: How Change of Shape Unsettled England in Italy

The problem with international friendlies, at least in terms of assessing the development of a team, is that they encourage managers to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily consider. It’s a chance to experiment, pundits always say, and yet what caches probably should be doing, given how few opportunities they have to play against sides of similar level, is fine-tuning and finessing, using the games to work on building familiarity between a putative first team.

Not that it’s always the manager’s fault. Injuries and withdrawals meant that the England coach Roy Hodgson was without Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge for Tuesday’s trip to Italy and so, as he acknowledged after the 4-0 win on Friday, a switch away from a 4-3-3 to a system to two central strikers was almost forced upon him. Given he has used the shape at times in qualifying and given the—understandable—pressure to give Harry Kane a start, he may have done that anyway, but ideally, surely, not against Italy and their 3-5-2.

There are few absolutes in tactics, little that is definitely right or wrong, but the 3-5-2 will always cause problems for a diamond. The three centre-backs in the 3-5-2 can mark the two centre-forwards with a man spare, while one of the three central midfielders can pick up the player operating at the tip of the diamond with a two-on-two match-up in the centre.

Probably most significantly, the narrowness of the diamond means that the wing-backs in the 3-5-2 will have space in front of them, allowing them to push up to join the midfield battle or offer attacking width. England ran a similar risk away in Switzerland, meeting a side with very attacking full-backs with a diamond but on that occasion, Wayne Rooney and Welbeck did a superb job of pulling wide from centre-forward to occupy the full-backs, which had the bonus of creating space for Sterling to surge into from the tip of the diamond.

With an additional central defender, the dynamic is different anyway but Kane and Theo Walcott struggled to stop the surges of the Italian wing-backs, Alessandro Forenzi and Matteo Darmian. That perhaps explains why, before the end of the first half, Rooney moved to centre-forward with Walcott dropping back to the tip of the diamond, the hope presumably being that he could use his pace a deeper position to burst through or round a narrow back three. Walcott was not a success—but then he hasn’t been in great form for Arsenal really as he continues his rehabilitation from serious knee injury—and England looked rather more threatening once Ross Barkley had come on 10 minutes into the second half.

Barkley, it should be said, also benefited from having Michael Carrick rather than Phil Jones playing at the base of the diamond, the authority he exudes and the intelligence of his passing giving England the base from which they dominated the second half, offering significant encouragement after a glum first period. If friendlies are about learning lessons, this surely was the clearest one for Hodgson: if fit, Carrick must play.

Otherwise there was further encouragement from Kane, who struggled at times against tight Italian marking but always offered a glimmer of threat while linking well at times with Rooney, and the impact from the bench of Andros Townsend, even in a deeper role to that which he usually plays at Tottenham.

“I thought both he [Barkley] and Townsend turned the game,” Hodgson said, per TalkSport. “I thought Barkley in particular was really, really good. Very brave, very courageous, prepared to get on the ball all of the time and prepared to take people on. He really is an outstanding young talent.”

But most significant of all, perhaps, was the issue of shape: Hodgson’s hand was forced by the players he had available, and perhaps he would have done differently in a competitive game, but the message was emphatic. No matter what the desire to accommodate a popular and in-form rising star, it cannot be done at the expense of tactical coherence.

 

China PMI rebounds in March to 50.1

China's manufacturing activity expands in March for the first time since DecemberChina's manufacturing activity expanded in March for the first time since December, the government said Wednesday, a bright spot as the world's second-largest economy fights a broad slowdown in growth. The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) came in at 50.1 last month, up from 49.9 in February and the first result showing expansion since a similar 50.1 in December. The index, which tracks activity in factories and workshops, is considered a key indicator of the health of China's economy, a major driver of global growth. "After a string of disappointing data, the improvement in the official PMI is welcome news and suggests that the recent rate cuts and pick-up in bank lending growth may be helping to support large firms," Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a reaction to the data.


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