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Jul 04

Mark Fields CEO Ford Motor Company Ford Trends 2015
Mark Fields CEO Ford Motor Company Begins Ford Trends 2015

Going further with Ford has meant many things over the years. I have been attending and covering their events all around the USA. The Blue Oval noticed and has been good about keeping me in the loop with the automotive world including when Ford had a TV show on NBC called Escape Routes. Being able to interview the teams on the show, before the finale and then have videos included in a local Las Vegas newspaper, was all part of the fun.

Going Further With Ford From Las Vegas to San Francisco

My latest adventure with the Ford Motor Company was in late June when I visited San Francisco and Palo Alto, California, in Silicon Valley. This is the first event outside of Dearborn and Detroit that Ford has setup to show what technologies they are adapting to their newest vehicles and e-bikes.

Grand Hyatt San Francisco Arrival

For the fifth year, the Ford Trends conference highlighted several groups of speakers from different industries like game design, big data, 3D printing and how all of that relates to generations X, Y and Z.

Ford Trends 2015

The most popular and recognizable person at the Ford Trends conferences is Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s Futurist. As the panel moderator, Connelly did a great job introducing almost everyone during each panel discussion and in the latest series start, Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

Ford Research Innovation Center Palo Alto 2015
Ford Research Innovation Center Palo Alto

HP Labs was the site of the first three sets of panels. Second, SAP in Palo Alto, was the location of breakout sessions. Finally, Pier 27 in San Francisco was the start of behind the wheel experiences in several Ford vehicles.

Ford Escape At Valley of Fire Chris Rauschnot
Ford Escape at Valley of Fire with Chris Rauschnot By Bill Cody @VegasBiLL

A month before going on the City By The Bay adventure, I rented a Ford Escape to get a better feel for what their newest Escape had to offer. I took the family from Las Vegas, Nevada, on several all day trips throughout the southwest region. We ended up exploring nearly 1,000 miles in three days.

Nevada, Arizona, Utah were some of the states we traveled throughout several times. The most spectacular and furthest point of interest from the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip that we visited, was the Valley of Fire, near the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza.

Valley of Fire Google Map

The Valley of Fire is the oldest state park in Nevada and was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968. It covers an area of almost 42,000 acres and was dedicated in 1935 (Wikipedia). Traveling to the park is through normal enough looking desert, however, on the last turn the scenery changes in a big way, similar to Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park. It is an epic place of red rock formations that stretch as far as the eye can see. The area has been featured in movies too, like Star Trek Generations.


We took the Inmarsat iSatphone 2 satellite phone & a @VoltaicSystems 9 watt solar panel kit in a rented @Ford Escape out to the @Valley.of.Fire ???? recently. Great vistas at the Nevada State Park.

A photo posted by 24kMedia (@24kmedia) on

There is no cellular signal in this remote location, but the Sirius XM radio in the Escape worked well. Along with traveling way out of town, charging in the rental was easy until my CLA stopped working. Backups are key when working with adventure electronics and in case of an emergency.

Ford Mustang Convertible Valley of Fire 2015
Ford Mustang Valley of Fire By Bill Cody @VegasBiLL

I was thankful to have an Inmarsat isatPhone 2 satellite phone and a 9 volt solar panel Voltaic Systems V44 12,000 mAh battery kit with me. We ran across this nice Ford Mustang while touring around the Valley of Fire.


Spent all day last week in the ???? Testing of the Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 & @VoltaicSystems went very well, via @24k. Calls were clear & our batteries full. ????

A photo posted by 24kMedia (@24kmedia) on

Ford’s newest Escape provided a comfortable ride for three adults. Driving on freeways this many miles can cause lower leg fatigue. I did not experience any of that traveling in the Escape. The ease in which the crossover vehicle initiated cruise control and adjusted for elevation changes, was the feature I liked most.

Further With Ford 2015 At Pier 27 San Francisco
Go Further With Ford Pier 27 San Francisco

Going behind the wheel of currently available Ford vehicles during the Ford Trends conference in San Francisco, California provided me a faster means to experience them in real world congested city traffic conditions.


Bill Roth & I at the Golden Gate #FordTrends #FordTrends15 ????

A photo posted by Chris Rauschnot (@24k) on

My co-pilot, Bill Roth @earth2017 on Twitter and I were the first to visit the Golden Gate Bridge on the morning of the last day. It nearly felt like we were on the show Amazing Race. We then visited the Palace of Fine Arts in a gorgeous orange V8 5.0 liter Mustang. On the way back from the PoFA, I found myself on Lombard Street, which is iconic in SF for having many twists, turns and tourists.

Ford Mustang GT V8 5 Chris Rauschnot Palace of Fine Arts SF
Ford Mustang GT V8 5.0 Chris Rauschnot By Bill Roth

Lombard St In A Ford Mustang GT V8 5.0

Coit Tower Ford Trends 2015
Coit Tower During Ford Trends 2015

Ford Edge Crossover Ford Trends 2015
Ford EDGE Crossover Ford Trends 2015

Next up was a quick trip to the parking ring around Coit Tower in a Ford EDGE Sport AWD with EcoBoost. Having all-wheel-drive to go up many broken streets with construction, leading to the tower, was the right choice by the Ford crew. Finally, Mr. Roth picked a Focus ST manual to return into town with on Van Ness and then up a few streets, to the famous row of Victorian inspired homes known as the “Painted Ladies.”

Ford Focus ST Manual Painted Ladies SF
Ford Focus ST “Painted Ladies” San Francisco

As we left the “Painted Ladies” and Ford’s Behind The Wheel experiences of the day, we learned a great deal about how the technology in each car worked. Technology that we tested included GPS navigation, SYNC with MyFord Touch and SelectShift automatic transmission. My favorite car to drive of the day was the orange Mustang GT V8 5.0. My late father owned one of the first 1964 ½ Mustangs and it was a blast to ride around in a modern version for an hour. I am excited about technology, automotive advances and the fun in future driving experiences.

Ford Mustang Since 1964
Ford Mustang Since 1964

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