• Apr 3, 2009
Transit Connect Family One concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Anyone with kids knows what it's like to leave the house and forget stuff behind. Those of you who are past their mid-30s might also remember when minivans were actually mini. Ford will unveil a concept next week at the New York Auto Show that tries to eliminate the first problem in a more manageable package. The Transit Connect Family One concept is based on Ford's new compact van going on sale this summer. The regular Transit Connect will normally be targeted at commercial customers who don't require something as large as the E-series van, although anyone can buy one. Ford is more likely using the Family One concept to evaluate interest in a people mover of this size, with an eye towards introducing the next generation of the C-Max here in the U.S. in a couple of years.

Follow the jump to see all the cool features packed into the Ford Transit Family One concept and check out the gallery of official high-res images below for now. We'll have additional live shots to show you later today, as well.



[Source: Ford]

The Family One contains many features that a growing family would appreciate. The two front seats where Mom and Dad sit are separated from the back compartment by a window with a large opening in the center that's big enough to talk and pass things through. The kids will be entertained by a pair of large, high-resolution screens embedded in the window separating the van's compartments. There are also folding scooters in the back doors, book bag holders on the seat backs, built-in whiteboards, a walkie-talkie station with chargers and built-in dispensers for sun screen and hand-sanitizing lotion. Another nice touch for new parents is a storage compartment in the back area for a fold-up stroller.



The concept van's most practical feature, however, would have to be the integration of Ford's Works Solution package, which has been renamed Family Solutions Connectivity. Using an in-dash PC and RFID reader, the system can track items in the vehicle and remind the driver if anything is being left behind. In the Family One concept, a parent can define a set of items on a PC that are needed for a particular task. One example is a list of hockey equipment. By putting RFID tags on little Joey's hockey gear, the system will tell you if anything has been forgotten before you set out for the ice rink.


PRESS RELEASE

Ford transit connect family one concept: smart, green, fun for children, parents alike

ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 3, 2009 – Ford is listening to the unique wants and needs of families and responds with the Transit Connect Family One concept – a space that's all about helping parents and engaging children.

"Transit Connect is a versatile vehicle that can be adapted to a wide variety of applications," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "The Family One concept delivers fun with function. This fun, cool space is for parents and small children alike, combining fuel efficiency with advanced technologies that aim to help keep families connected on the go."

Designed for "the coolest mom"
The Family One concept is based on the Transit Connect, a global Ford platform adaptable to a wide variety of applications, both personal and professional. This concept vehicle represents Ford's first effort in showcasing the versatile Transit Connect for personal use.

"The customers we envisioned when developing the Family One are cosmopolitan parents in their mid-30s with highly refined design sensitivities," said Ford Designer Chiwei Lee. "They waited until they were ready for children and see parenthood as adding to their aesthetic portfolio, instead of smashing it."

Transit Connect has a utilitarian form that offers 135 cubic feet of space on a compact platform, with agile driving dynamics ideally suited to urban driving and tight spaces. The vibrant color scheme and expansive greenhouse area combine to give the Family One concept friendly visual character and a bright, airy interior space.

"For children, the conceptual intent of the vehicle is to be as engaging and entertaining when parked as it is on the go," added Lee. "The Family One easily transitions from functional family mobility to 'base camp' when the coolest mom puts the shift lever into the park position."

Playful Space
The second-row seats in the concept provide youthful passengers with ample room to get comfortable, enjoy projected digital media entertainment on the bulkhead-mounted sunshade screens or look through the expansive windows. Side rear inner door panels are water-pen friendly and easily wipe clean for the next round of creative inspiration.

Clever, family-friendly features include built-in hand sanitizer and sunscreen dispensers, family walkie-talkie radios that charge when docked, an integrated first-aid kit and cargo door-mounted folding twin scooters. The storage area beneath the rear floor holds a folding stroller and an integrated awning extends from the open rear cargo doors. Seat covers are removable, washable and can be changed to redecorate and evolve with changing preferences.

Family Connectivity
The Transit Connect Family One concept vehicle uses in-dash computer technology to keep a youthful family organized, on-schedule and properly equipped with everything from diaper bags to sporting goods, back packs and homework folders that populate the active family environment.

The Family One concept employs radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to keep track of all the items the active family needs to stay organized. When the driver enters the vehicle with children, the in-dash computer will provide notification that Timmy's hockey equipment is still in the front hall closet. Using predictive algorithms to "learn" based on past usage, the system will identify missing musical instruments or homework on the way to school and will remind parents if they haven't packed clubs for a scheduled Saturday golf outing.

The system is designed to be intuitively easy to operate, with minimal menu scrolling and programming. It also plays a role in safety – adding to peace of mind – as the system integrates with sensors to notify the driver if a child seat is improperly attached or tensioned.

The technology is designed to seamlessly integrate with the parents' digital lifestyle.

Fun and Fuel Efficient
The Family One concept is powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine – delivering 22 city and 25 highway miles per gallon – and features SmartGauge™ to help parents drive more efficiently.

Looking forward, the global Transit Connect platform has capability to host any one of several efficient engine alternatives, including EcoBoost™ power and battery electric propulsion.


transit connect Family One concept offers Fun, connectivity to engage Children, Parents ALIKE


Ann Arbor, mich., April 3, 2009 – The Ford Transit Connect Family One concept vehicle combines high-technology features to keep children and parents organized and entertained with simple, clever touches that make family outings more fun.

"The Transit Connect Family One concept showcases futuristic technologies that can help keep busy, active families in the right place, at the right time, with the right stuff," said Andrew Georgescu, product marketing manager. "Parents will appreciate Family One for helping them manage their busy lifestyles, while children consider the vehicle a place of their own."

In a single day, the Family One can help busy parents by confirming that Timmy's backpack and homework folder are on board, provide assurance that Josh's child safety seat is properly installed and that the whole family can have a base camp – with shade – during soccer practice. Family One also can provide turn-by-turn directions to a new organic grocery store, coach drivers to maximize fuel economy and entertain a second-row passenger with cartoons while another passenger converts fractions to decimals in a Web-based homework application.

Family Works Connectivity
The Transit Connect Family One concept employs an innovative in-dash computer with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology designed to keep an active children and parents organized, on schedule and properly equipped. The concept vehicle uses Ford Work Solutions™ technology as a foundation for family applications for the not-too-distant future.

Ford Work Solutions is an available collection of technologies and industry-first features that provide customers connectivity, flexibility and security to better run key aspects of their business – or their lives – from their Ford vehicle. It will be available in key Ford vehicles, starting this summer.

The concept's forward-looking Family Works application uses predictive algorithms, based on learning from past usage, to remind parents of scheduled events and the equipment required for them. If the system is aware of a regularly scheduled band practice, for instance, it will simplify the process by notifying the driver if the needed musical instrument is not on board.

RFID tags can be affixed to any number of items such as backpacks, homework folders or sports equipment so time and fuel can be saved by avoiding unnecessary trips for forgotten items.

The system synchronizes with a smart phone to integrate with the parents' digital lifestyle to help with hands-free calling, schedules, reminders and to-do lists, helping parents to be smarter and better prepared.

Safety and peace-of-mind for parents are enhanced, as the system wirelessly communicates with sensors in the child seat, assuring the driver that the unit is secured and the attaching tether is tensioned properly. According to the 2005 LATCH study, published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 40 percent of child seats are improperly attached.

Family One features intuitively-operated navigation, which easily helps get families where they need to go. The SmartGauge™ instrument cluster even will tell the driver how economically the vehicle is being driven, with an easily understood graphic interface.

Digital Infotainment
Entertained and engaged young passengers are happy passengers, making life easier for parents.
Second-row passengers in the Transit Connect Family One concept look up to see a transparent sunshade mounted on the bulkhead behind the driver's area. The sunshade transforms to become a digital infotainment center featuring a pair of projected floating screens with high-resolution imaging and exceptional color contrast. The screens can display digital media entertainment, three-dimensional gaming, interactive educational opportunities and wireless Web connectivity.

Tactile Touches
The Transit Connect Family One concept also features a wide array of clever amenities to make family outings easier and more fun, including:
  • Twin folding scooters, mounted to the inside of the rear cargo doors
  • Integrated sunscreen and hand sanitizer dispensers
  • Whiteboard rear side-door interior surfaces for erasable water-marker creativity
  • Rechargeable family radio walkie-talkies
  • Backpack attachments and handy, integrated toy storage
  • Subfloor onboard storage for folding stroller
  • Protracting, roof-mounted awning offers shade over rear opening
  • Lava-lamp effect rear headliner graphics


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      It actually looks quite nice. I dig the front.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seriously, this is what they did with the bailout money? I have an idea, why doesn't Ford make a car that people don't have to wear a bag over their heads to drive? Does every single car have to be either hideously ugly or completely lacking innovation?

      On a more optimistic note, the tech inside the car does have some appeal. Too bad the American Car Industry will just be a memory by the time any of these ideas get implemented.....in a Volkswagen.
        • 5 Years Ago
        icandigthat: Ford didn't take any bailout money. If you had been paying attention (or even read the comments above), you wouldn't have made such an idiot of yourself.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Please stop posting stupid, uninformed things.

        Signed,

        The Internet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There are no words that can fully express your stupidity.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder what Ford figures the best way would be to put those RFID tags on the kids.....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Put it in their iPod or Cell phone ;) LOL
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a concept to start with, so people crying about too small backpack holders better learn to read. I would really consider the TC with a 5 speed manual as my next family car. I like the boxy look, the rugged utility, the potential for a manual transmission, and ecoboost engines would make it one of the best choices on the market. Is it just me, or is Ford quickly becoming the only car company in NA that actually knows (correctly guesses) what the consumers want? They are even getting ahead of the Japanese, what would have been blasphemy even two years ago.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If they brought over the LWB version with 1.8-litre Duratorq TDCi common rail turbo diesel, I'd buy one.
      s13hybrid
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sweet pedofile van. Just needs a hint of rust and free candy written on the side.
        s13hybrid
        • 5 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        Sorry, that was the first thing that came to mind when I saw this.

        Actually this thing would be pretty nice for trips if you can get past the fuglyness.
      • 5 Years Ago

      I think the best part of it is the plastic flooring. You could just hose it out when you wash the car. I get to see a lot of "family haulers" when they are returned off-lease. It's obvious which ones have had kids as the rear seat's main occupants. This flooring would make clean-up a snap.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes at last nice practical stuff from ford i dont care about looks remember honda element? it look so weird but practical people still bought them. and those people are the one who have money to buy new cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The outside design looks so stupid.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The part that I really don't get is the blue doors. This is a concept vehicle, right? Of a nice, family-type vehicle. So why make it look like you went to the junkyard and picked up mismatched parts to fix it?
      • 5 Years Ago
      So...

      This is what Ford is spending our taxpayer dollars on?


      Just.... great.....;/
        • 5 Years Ago
        @yupitskeith

        I think everyone else bashed you enough but because you are SO ignorant of the facts I just had to weigh in! That was simply the most retarded post of the year, no the decade! If there was an Autoblog Poll on "Biggest Typing Tardation on the Planet" you'd be a shoe in for the winner!

        Where on earth have you been hiding? For the love of Henry stop being an ostrich and pull your head out of the dirt! Ford is THE company!

        Dude, really, it's like wildfire (not the Pinto type either) ;) LOL Word is that Ford Motor Company is going to boom with business THIS YEAR! They've got everything going for them.

        2010 Taurus - Holla (No I'm not from the inner city)
        2010 Taurus SHO (Do I need to say those letters again?)
        2010 Mustang - This pony growls!
        2010 Mustang KR + KR500 + 1,000 other variants (i heard you laugh ;)
        2010 F-150 - Who's your daddy!
        2010 Ford F-150 Raptor (HOLY SHIZ)
        2010 Fiesta - Sip, Prrrr, Meow
        2010 Focus - Le Zoom Le Zoom (anyone get that?)
        2010 Fusion - Updated
        2010 Fusion HYBRID
        2010 Escape HYBRID
        2010 Escape
        The Edge - It's cool folks, you've got to give it up to the Edge!
        2010/11 Ranger SuperMax (Better be)
        2010/11 Ford Explorer Reborn? (Slammin)
        Lincoln MKS - Starships Don't Need Keys (kinda gay slogan - no offense)
        Lincoln MKZ - New fascia + Eco Boost
        2010 Lincoln MKT
        Oh and the Mercury - Oh shiz... Well WTF they can't do everything at once right? :)
        And that's just the beginning of it!

        And with all that, what's the competition running out of the gate with? An updated Hybrid? Ford slowly took there gloves OFF and are about to sucker punch the entire industry. And THEN beat them down... But in a nice way! :)

        Add the quality being equal to or better than imports, PLUS those figures are 3 years old and Ford's being making huge strides on quality. PLUS GM will be in Chapter 11 by June if they can't get financial support (sorry to say) PLUS Chrysler's woes? You've got Ford in position to gobble up domestic buyer market share AND win over import buyers because of the high quality and awesome design work!

        So why the hell did I go on a tangent? Oh yeah, that comment on Ford wasting bailout money that they didn't take like GM or Chrysler! Friend, you have zero idea what you're talking about.

        Furthermore, if Ford HAD taken bailout money I think the above lineup is a good indicator of what they'd be doing with it. It really bothers me that that import fan-boys and domestic or brand haters will latch on to 1 thing and try to bury a company for it. Get Ooover Yourself! Can you imagine if Toyota was deemed horrendous just because the Tundra is a total piece if shizat and an embarrassment to their company (as quoted by the President of Toyota). "

        Get your head on straight bro! Please!

        Anyway... Those are just my thoughts, I could be insane.. ;)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ford wasn't part of the bailout. Where have you been?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Apparently under a rock. With so much money flying everywhere it's hard to keep up.

        Regardless, my opinion doesn't change. This vehicle is still ugly.

        Thanks for the correction though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ford didn't take any of the bailout money. Guess you haven't been paying any attention.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I could easily do without all the gimmicky gizmos, just bring the Transit to the U.S. as something other than a commercial cargo hauler. I'd like some smaller and thriftier 3-row alternatives for a 2+3 family other than the RAV4, Kia Rondo, and Mazda5 (though the latter appeals to my manual-shift needs).
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think this vehicle is going to be brilliant for handicapped conversions!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is going to be a big hit. The look isn't "ugly." It is unique. It is also a very practical vehicle that will appeal to older people who want to sit high, need ease of access, and good visibility. It will also make a really cool tuner. It is funky and practical at the same time; it is also fuel efficient. Great job, Ford. Now there is an alternative to the messed-up Scion XB.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree... I actually like the interior alot its pretty damn cool

        also anyone notice that it has the eco gauge from the Fusion?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes, a lot of uninformed posts.

      This van/car has been out in Europe for ages, as have the Renault Kangoo, a Peugeot/Citroen example called the Partner/Berlingo (recently replaced by a new version), and the Fiat Doblo (which I own). My taxi driver in Cyprus runs some of these Fords, as well as the usual E Class Merc taxis - and the Transit C is easier to access, roomier for passengers, easier to park and handier for the luggage.

      This car is essentially a workhorse van adaption, so if you value 'style' you won't buy one. The rest of us enjoy robust, comfortable and very handy cheap transport that is actually fun to drive.

      In Europe most people buy turbo-Diesels by the way.
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