When it comes to “high tech” cars, Ford may not be the first automotive company to pop into your head. But that’s about to change with the 2017 Ford GT, which has more than 10 million lines of code, controlling everything from traction control to air conditioning.
With the new GT, Ford combines sensor integration and intricate software in hopes that this technology will eventually be adapted for their lower-model production vehicles in the future.
Hardware on the Road
This ultra-light GT has aluminum engine mounts and a full carbon-fiber chassis. Pair this lightweight frame with its twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and you’ve got a velvet rocket with more than 600 horsepower. That’s some serious get-up-and-go, especially with a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission to get you there.
The GT behaves almost like a four-wheeled land jet: It rockets from 0 to 60mph in under 3 seconds. The design and performance lines make it look like it’s flying 100 mph, even while it’s sitting in Park.
The exhaust is hidden inside the brake lights, and an active rear spoiler moves like an inverted wing, depending on whether the driver is braking, turning or accelerating. The car also sports Ford’s EcoBoost technology.
- Price: $200,000 (Estimated: Ford has not announced a price.)
- Motor: EcoBoost Twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine
- Acceleration: From 0 to 60 mph in under 3 seconds
- Body: Carbon-fiber chassis
- Collision Detection: Backing camera & more than 50 sensors
- Instrument Panel: Central color touch-screen display
- On-board Computers: 28 microprocessors
As advanced as the car’s hardware is, the software for the GT is just as impressive. And that’s why we’re interested: the code!
Software Under the Hood
The new GT is a technological marvel – and a great example of what can happen when you combine programming and electrical engineering.
With a blazingly fast data-refresh rate of every 8 milliseconds, the new GT has more than 50 different sensors within its 15 sensor sets (shown below), from sensors for gyro and wing position to sensors detecting vehicle speed and humidity.
With 3,000 different signals, the car doesn’t need to learn programming, because the technicians at Ford have already done that. The new GT has six communication area networks that can generate a staggering 300MB of data per second. There are 28 microprocessors that manage everything inside and outside of the cabin.
One of car’s coolest abilities is a function Ford calls an “active suspension.” The GT will actually lower its chassis for better stability and aerodynamics while traveling at high speeds.
But what about those pesky speed bumps and driveways? You can press a button that will raise the front end, avoiding that nasty, cringe-worthy scraping sound that everyone with a lowered vehicle has experienced.
Likewise, on a car this low to the ground with a tiny rear window, a rear-view backup camera will come standard, as will be federally mandated next year. The GT could go on sale in Spring 2016, but it may also slip to the the end of next year to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the 1966 Ford GT40. That car took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place at 1966’s famous “24 Hours of Le Mans” race.