How Drive-by-Wire Systems Work


drive-by-wire systems pic

Drive-by-Wire systems help you control your car with electronics instead of mechanics.

Most cars have mechanical and hydraulic systems for these controls. This requires a lot of different parts that can weigh down your car, and all that metal means serious risk of degradation. Drive-by-wire, conversely, is an innovative technology that is used to electronically control your speed, braking, turning, and any other driving command you give your car, which makes for easier handling.

With drive-by-wire, the heavy mechanical parts are replaced with much lighter electrical wires that use sensors to collect information and then transmit the information to the relevant parts of the car. Sensors on the gas pedal, for instance, measure how much pressure you put on the pedal and send the data to the engine management system. This system determines how much fuel is used to accelerate, among other things.

Furthermore, if the electronic system fails, as batteries and electronics aren’t 100% reliable, a mechanical backup system will kick in, solving the drive-by-wire system’s biggest drawback. Plus, fly-by-wire has been used for a long time in planes, so there’s experience and expertise at play. Overall, safety has been considered when it comes to drive-by-wire, and any major issues have been addressed.

Golden Gear Award

Ford Honored with Golden Gear Award for Engineering Excellence

Ford has always been a driving force of innovation in the automotive industry, with more than 100 years of creative and efficient new vehicles and products. Just last month – Ford was awarded with the coveted Golden Gear Award.

This award, granted by the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA), recognizes Ford’s “111-year history of engineering innovation,” additionally honoring Henry Ford himself for his vision that changed the automobile game.

Golden Gear Award

1.0-liter EcoBoost Engine

The award distribution occurred at WAPA’s 30th Anniversary Gala, a time to reflect on which auto companies have truly maintained a legacy of powerful, efficient vehicles. In light of so many excellent competitors, Ford still remains at the top.

At the gala, one of the vice presidents at Ford, Jim Holland, accepted the award, citing the promising path laid out by Henry Ford and how “the Ford team continues driving innovation through every part of our business to improve people’s lives.”

With Ford EcoBoost engines and the best-selling truck F-Series all over the roads, it’s easy to see that Ford continues to fulfill their namesake’s ideas.

2015 Mustang Safety Features: Award-Winning Safety for High-Octane Driving

Not only is the new Mustang a high-performance muscle car, but it also features an incredible new safety system. The 2015 Mustang safety features recently earned it a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This just goes to show that the new model truly has everything you could ever need.

2015 Mustang Safety FeaturesThe NHTSA was most impressed with the improved safety on the latest model. According to Ford, the new Mustang has twice as many airbags as before, twice as many peripheral crash sensors, and an innovative new seatbelt-tensioning system.

“The new Mustang was built from the ground up,” said Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer.  “It is more refined, more powerful and it has everything people have come to love about Mustang for the past 50 years.”

Aside from the array of standard safety features, the new Mustang also comes with driver assist technology. This includes adaptive cruise control, BLIS® Cross-Traffic Alert, and SYNC 911. With all of these features, you’ll be safer than ever in one of the world’s most popular muscle cars.

2015 Ford EcoBoost® Police Interceptor: Stopping Crooks in Their Paths

When the police are looking for the best cars available to help them serve the public, they often turn to Ford. Thus, it’s no surprise the 2015 Ford EcoBoost® Police Interceptor sedan has come back for another year, once again earning the title of quickest-accelerating pursuit vehicle. Not only is it fast, but we at Cambridge Classic Ford agree it’s sleek as well.

According to Ford, you’ll probably only see these models in California or if you cross the border into Michigan. The special models have been the best-selling police vehicles since 1996, and with a 0-to-60 acceleration in 5.85 seconds, it’s easy to see why.

“We are thrilled to repeat as having best acceleration,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer at Ford. “Quickly closing the distance between an officer and a target vehicle is key to safely avoiding high-speed pursuits. Our police vehicles are built around officer safety, and outstanding performance is yet another demonstration of that commitment.”

The quickest Interceptor model features a 5.7-liter V-8 and AWD system, capable of stopping bad guys just by revving the engine. Unfortunately, these models are not made available to the public for obvious reasons, but it’s a great example of Ford’s incredible performance engineering.

4 Tips for Driving in the Snow

Winter can be a stressful time to drive here in Cambridge. There’s snow and ice; windows fog really easily; it gets dark early; and visibility tends to be pretty low—not to mention the sun is glaringly bright when there is snow on the ground. To make things a little easier, we at Cambridge Classic Ford have gathered four tips for driving in the snow. We hope these help!

  1. Know your car, especially the brakes: It’s always important that you are familiar with your car, but especially when conditions are bad. Specifically, take note of whether you have antilock brakes or not. AAA recommends threshold braking, regardless of brake types.
  2. Be careful on hills: If you’re approaching a hill, you’re going to want to have inertia on your side. Don’t try to power up it too quickly, but never stop going when you’re climbing a hill.
  3. Refrain from stopping: If you can keep from braking anywhere (not just on that hill we mentioned), please do so. It’s much more difficult to gain inertia from a standstill. Obviously, you must stop at all traffic stops.
  4. Take it slow: Ultimately, slowing everything down in extreme conditions is the best strategy to have. Accelerate, decelerate, turn, everything—slow and steady wins the race. And gets you home safe and sound.

Be careful out there!

Ford’s Autonomous Features Keep Safety in Mind

The future of cars is in the works with the many announcements for predicted deadlines for automatic and semi-automatic drive modes for drivers and truckers alike. These innovations are just steps away from The Jetsons, but they do bring about some concerns. These concerns are ones Ford has been keeping in mind.

Even with autonomous cars in the works, the Ford model is still focused on the driver. The driving systems are there to help the driver but much like the traditional cruise control, drivers still need to be alert and ready to react.

The introduction of Ford’s autonomous features is on the move, but it will take time for all of the aspects to be implemented. For the sake of a safety, Ford’s putting in new automatic features one at a time so each one can be integrated safely. Things like automatic parallel parking and lane assist are enough for now as more features are planned for future models while these systems are perfected and normalized in Ford vehicles.

Classic Cambridge Ford is glad to see that Ford isn’t rushing into the luxurious notion of autonomous vehicles all willy nilly. It’s the interest in safety first over exciting innovations that make Ford a company worth supporting. For more information on the assistant features Ford does have implemented into its new vehicles, feel free to give us a call or visit us with your questions!

Ford Models Get a New Assistant: the Apple Siri System

Most of us have always talked to our cars, and if you haven’t, you might be motivated to start now. Ford announced that the Apple Siri System will be made available in some new models. We’re glad to hear it at Cambridge Classic Ford, because let’s face it – who doesn’t enjoy a little conversation?

Ford is pairing with Automatic Labs in order to make every Ford model a little safer and a little smarter. AutomotiveNews said Ford vehicles can already make calls and get directions with SYNC AppLink, but the Apple Siri System will allow drives to use the Press-To-Talk button technology. It also allows access to IFTTT Web Service to track driving expenses, trip details, and even features like turning on house lights when drivers arrive home.

Jim Buczkowski, Ford’s director of electrical and electronic systems said, “Ford believes that voice control is important to a safer and smarter mobility experience. This enables us to provide additional voice-controlled features like Siri for iPhone users — Ford drivers can now access Siri while keeping hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”

To check out a Ford car, truck, or SUV that will have access to the Apple Siri System, come down to Cambridge Classic Ford. These models include many of the 2011-2015 Explorers, F-Series trucks, the Ford Flex, Taurus, and F-150, among others.

Tailgate Theft on the Rise, Easy to Prevent

Apparently there is a high demand for truck tailgates on the black market. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that from January 1st 2012 to December 31st 2013, tailgate theft has jumped from 831 to 1,090, an unbelievable 31 percent.

The National Crime Insurance Bureau reviewed insurance claims for stolen tailgates from trucks across the nation to come to their finding. Texas led the way with 752 total claims in the two-year period, which is likely due to the sheer popularity and higher number of pickup trucks in the great state. Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas carry the majority of those thefts. California and Arizona followed in second and third place, with 334 and 207 claims, respectively.

Unfortunately, the black market thrives off of items that can be acquired at low risk and low cost to thieves. Tailgates, when not locked, are fairly easy and quick to remove, and thieves can go virtually unnoticed in unpopulated areas. Many of these tailgates are sold for use on similar trucks, but some are sold for scrap, contributing to a nationwide problem of metal theft.

Because an experienced tailgate thief can steal a tailgate in mere seconds, it can happen just about anywhere. The good news? It’s easy to deter such criminals with a simple after-market hinge lock.

NICB spokesperson Frank Scafidi told Autoblog that “it’s hard to know with confidence” the reason for the rise in claims. He speculated that it could simply have been more awareness of the problem, which would mean more people filing insurance claims for it.

This may or may not be a new problem, but the message is clear: it’s worth a little extra effort to make sure your tailgate is locked up, and avoid becoming a statistic.

If you are in the market for a reliable pickup, stop by Cambridge Classic Ford today!

2014 Ford C-Max Energi Could be Ford’s Most Technologically Advanced Vehicle

From the outside, the 2014 Ford C-Max Energi may at first appear to be just another oversized hybrid-electric vehicle, but it’s what you can’t see that makes the C-Max Energi truly impressive. What the C-Max Energi may lack in high-end elegance, it more than makes up for in fuel conservation and packing space – and could very well be the most advanced vehicle Ford has ever put into showrooms.

According to, Ford offers two versions of the C-Max – a normal hybrid that achieves an impressive 42 mpg city and 37 mpg highway, and the plug-in version, which travels 19 miles on pure electric energy and achieves a total range of 550 miles.

The technologically advanced car features a lithium-ion battery pack which can be charged in just seven hours from a regular outlet, and just 2.5 hours with the optional 240-volt charger. Up front, a 2.0-liter gasoline-powered engine drives the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. The system uses regenerative braking, electric heating, and a sophisticated control module to conserve (and use) extra energy.

The exterior was designed for maximum efficiency and features aerodynamic curves and smooth surfaces for enhanced airflow. Inside, leather seats, and audio and navigation controls feature an appealing and practical design, while the SmartGuage helps drivers learn what kind of driving will get the most out of their regenerative braking technology.

The 60/40 rear seats fully compensate for any space lost by the battery pack in the cargo area. Additional technologies include a semi-automatic parallel parking system and a hands-free trunk that opens by waving your foot over a sensor under the bumper.

The 2014 Ford C-Max Energi really is the whole package. From interior convenience and connectivity features to a state-of-the-are powertrain that will save you serious dough at the pump, the C-Max offers it all.

Stop by Cambridge Classic Ford to put a C-Max Energi to the ultimate test.

American’s Know Distracted Driving Is Dangerous, But Do It Anyway

According to a new Harris poll, Americans know that drinking and driving, texting and driving, and other distracted driving is dangerous, but admit to doing it anyway. The real question is if we agree these activities are dangerous, why do we still do it?

According to the poll, a resounding 93 percent of Americans surveyed believe texting and driving is dangerous, and 91 percent of Americans believe reading a text while driving is dangerous. Even though those surveyed know, and agree that texting and reading texts while driving is dangerous, 45 percent have read texts while driving and 37 percent have sent texts while driving.

When it comes to drinking and driving, 94 percent of Americans believe drinking three or more drinks and then driving is dangerous, and 68 percent of Americans believe even drinking just one or two drinks and then driving is dangerous. Unfortunately, 37 percent of those surveyed admit they’ve probably driven after drinking too much.

Besides drinking and texting, drivers are participating in some other pretty odd behaviors while driving. The study found that one in four people have admitted to grooming themselves while driving, another 25 percent said they’ve posted to social media, 19 percent have read a book, newspaper, or magazine while on the road, and 13 percent have watched a video on their smartphone or tablet.

We think it’s time to put down the technology (and the nail clippers and books), and focus at the task at hand. A car can be a dangerous killing machine when not used properly, and we have a major responsibility to ourselves and those around us every time we get behind the wheel.

For more details on this study, check out

Really, it can wait.

Stop by Cambridge Classic Ford today to get behind the wheel of your dream car (responsibly, of course). WE look forward to seeing you!