Ford leads automakers’ charge at Mobile World Congress
BARCELONA, Feb 15 — In a surprise move, US automaker Ford has announced that it will debut its latest vehicle at the influential Mobile World Congress technology show (February 27-March 1), later this month.
The automaker confirmed February 14 that the B-MAX, a new compact model, will be unveiled by chairman Bill Ford during a keynote speech February 27 which will explore the potential for mobile technology and vehicles to be more integrated.
The B-MAX unveiling will be the first time a vehicle has launched at the Mobile World Congress, a technology industry event in Barcelona that traditionally focuses on cellular communication.
Although the B-MAX’s first major public appearance will be at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show (public days March 8-18) on March 6, the decision to stage a high-profile industry event at MWC underlines Ford’s determination to highlight its technological achievements and follows the landmark decision last year to unveil the Ford Focus Electric at the Consumer Electronics Show rather than the North American International Auto Show which opened just days later.
In a statement, the automaker said that the B-MAX unveil would see the launch of new technologies which will make it one of Europe’s most technologically advanced small cars.
However, Ford isn’t the only automotive brand stepping into the limelight at MWC — Nissan will also be appearing on a panel discussion about mobile technology and vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz, meanwhile, has been nominated alongside Ford at the Global Mobile Awards, the major awards ceremony held at the event February 28.
Both will battle it out for the Best Mobile Innovation for Automotive, Transport or Utilities prize, with Ford nominated for its SYNC telematics system and Mercedes for its AMG Performance Media telematics system, with Android-based access.
Other transport nominees includes Taxiplon, a taxi-calling app, and Telekom Srbija and Ericsson, for an app called Eco Bus which allows travelers in the city of Pančevo, Serbia to get information on air quality, temperature, humidity and bus times on a smartphone. — AFP/Relaxnews
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