• Apr 3, 2009
Ford Transit Connect Family One Concept - click above for a high-res gallery

What better place to take the wraps off a new family transportation vehicle than a kids' science museum? That's exactly what Ford did this afternoon at Ann Arbor's Hands On Museum, and we were on hand to witness.

The 2010 Transit Connect Family One concept takes Ford's new compact commercial van and explores the possibilities for the platform as a future family hauler. Peeking inside, a transparent divider between the front and second rows features a pair of embedded LCDs that can be used as computer monitors, watch movies or play games. In the back, built-in walkie talkie chargers sit next to dispensers for hand cleanser and a pair of fold up scooters hang on the rear door. There's also a cavity under the rear floor that can consume a stroller.

Ford engineers have also looked at the Family One as an opportunity to experiment with some next-generation communications devices. Sensors based on the specifications for the next iteration of Bluetooth are embedded in the rear seat. Child safety seats with sensors that can detect tension, angle and other factors can communicate wirelessly with the driver to warn if the seat is not installed properly. These types of systems are probably still at least five years out, but they are definitely very cool.

Check out the high-res gallery of live shots below, and the original post for more details.



Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wait, aren't US auto makers supposed to be designing and selling small, fuel efficient vehicles and not HUGE SUV/van things to remain competitive in the global auto market?

      I seem to have heard that over, and over, and over and over again. Pfffff
        • 5 Years Ago
        Check the size again Andrew. This is the size of a Mazda 5. Much smaller than a traditional minivan...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, the Transit connect has a 2.0-liter engine and the electric version is coming mid-2010. At that time the electric TC will be available for lease to commercial fleet customers. Retail customers will have to wait until 2011 to buy an EV based on the new Focus
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wait, aren't ppl supposed to know what they're bitching about? Oh yes, it is domestics, that is enough.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I can't think of too many vehicles that are MORE of a player in the global market then the Transit Connect. They're found on every continent, in nearly every market on earth.

        Nice try though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      White upholstery isn't exactly kid friendly...
      • 5 Years Ago
      The easy-clean flooring is cool, but it needs raised edges, like the Weather-Tech mats have.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The three-abreast center seating is great. That was one of the reasons we ended up buying a used Pontiac Montana when we found out our family was expanding. This is a better size than regular minivans--just what I would be looking for.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Most of these probably will go to the commercial market. i can think of countless small business that could make good use of this combination of space and frugality.

      It is my understanding that to get around the chicken tax (stunned that it remains on the books), Ford will bring these over with rear seats, which they will then remove from large percentage of the fleet to sell as cargo vehicles. I don't know of the seats then go back to be reinstalled or what. Seems wasteful but what is Ford to do. Unless it is a hit, whereupon hopefully they will build it here. Same goes for the the Fiesta maybe? No offense to European autoworkers, but I sure would like to have some of our folks employed building these promising products.
      • 5 Years Ago
      IMO its pretty darn cool.
      Tons of room, Great Features and it will probably have a decent price too.
      Nice one Ford!
      • 5 Years Ago
      There are already plans to build it in the US, as long as there is a demand.

      Bringing them over, from Europe, just gets them here faster.

      The Fiesta is being built in Mexico. The plant (used to be F150 plant) is currently in the tooling process. On a low profit B-class vehicle, it is impossible to build it in the US. This is why noone else builds one here either.

      Mulally has said, over and over, that they will no longer build vehicles that they do not make money on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll bet Sabine could beat Clarkson's 'Ring time with this one!
      • 5 Years Ago
      hmm.. i dont think this is gonna be anything but a commercial van. it's cool and fun, but in a very dorky kind of way. i think this'll be popular amongst taxi drivers, florists, home decorators, plumbers and anything along those lines, while still hauling the family around from time to time. In other words, this'll pick up where the Astro van left off...except this looks like its MUCH better than the Astro
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is actually pretty cool. Hopefully Ford will do more with this than a one off science project. I would buy this for my family (kids and dog). But, knowing them, it'll be a smash hit in Europe, and we will have to wait 15 years for it (Fiesta)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cool idea, but it is very obvious Ford focused this vehicle to parents of LITTLE children, not children in 5th grade or higher.

      The backpack holders in the backs of the seats are way too small to hold a 5th graders bag in my neighborhood, let alone any child in Jr High or High school.

      And the sun-screen and hand sanitizer dispensers are total gimmickry that will never make it into a production model, particular as they are in the rear of the van.

      The solar cells on the roof are an interesting touch, but impractical for snow country, especially as the height of the vehicle (per the photos) makes it too tall to get the snow off and expose those cells to the sun.

      I commend Ford for trying to generate interest, but I think this one is just a bit too wrong for the family market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed that this misses the mark in a few key areas. Why invest in all the gadgetry to sense if a car seat is incorrectly installed when you could design fixed child seating incorporated in to the main seats? And why no third row seats? If folks want a people mover, many want to move more than 5 people.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can't imagine how greasy and sticky that thing must have been by the end of the day.
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