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Ford Transit Connect concept

Ford Transit Connect Family One Concept

Ford Transit Connect Family One Concept

The Transit Connect Family One Concept is Ford’s new vehicle for what it sees as the modern family. Included is an in-dash computer with radio frequency identification technology (RFID), which, as Ford describes it, can “…synchronize 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.”

In other words, let the parents do even less parenting than they now do. New innovations are fine. I’m not a technological dunce. But how many more distractions do today’s drivers need? A cup of coffee in one hand; a cell phone somewhere close by while you’re trying to find that certain podcast on your iPod; the GPS is screaming at you that you just missed your turn; and they guy behind you is giving you the finger because you had no hands left to signal that last lane change. Progress? I’m not sure. Cool? Yes, as a show car.

The in-dash computer isn’t all, though. How about:
*  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

What? Not enough for you? Then maybe you’ll enjoy these facts: 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.

Heaven only knows what this vehicle might cost. But I’m sure someone out there right now is trying to figure out how they’d pay for one.

I just hope I’m never driving behind them.

  • Donna Cayote

    Put a Red Cross and a red whirring bubble on top and call it an ambulance.

  • Rod

    I plan on buying a simpler Transit Connect wagon for family use as soon as they are available this year. As a househusband with three kids out of the house, one remaining, and 38 years of full-size van ownerships, the most critical thing to notice on this “family” concept car is that the middle seats are raised up. The middle seats in Transit Connects on display up to now have had a foot well and are set lower. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration website is correct that high seats in vans dramatically raise the center of gravity with each passenger added, particularly if you put an adult like grandma back there. I find high seats may also dramatically deteriorate braking with each additional passenger. Modern vehicles in general are way too prone to rolling over, amounting to about 25% of fatalities on our roadways. Just as important, high center-of-gravity vehicles are miserable to drive.