Meet AJ: the Ford Fiesta That Can Tweet

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

Recently Ford engineers drove a modified Fiesta concept car from Ann Arbor, Mich., to San Mateo, Calif., as part of a new technology experiment. Along the journey it was the Fiesta, and not the folks inside it, Tweeting about the trip.

Equipped with software called the “Auto”matic Blog, the Fiesta (named AJ) was able to send out tweets about its location, speed, acceleration and braking. It did this by tapping into the vehicle’s onboard telemetry, GPS system and ECU, even knowing when the headlights are on (must be getting dark) and when the wipers are being used (must be raining).

Connected to the internet, impressively, the software can even search real-time traffic info and weather conditions, commenting that it’s no looking forward to what’s coming up.

Once AJ even commented that he, she, it was joyful. When asked how a car can be joyful, Joe Rork, one of the IT brains behind the project commented that, “There’s no traffic, and it’s not raining and it’s enjoying a winding road.”

Incredibly, in order to pull off this stunt, Ford used mostly readily-available technology like a high-speed connection, Wi-Fi router and Dell computer with Windows 7.

According to Rork, the project is just an extension of Ford’s already high-tech vision for cars of the future. While Tweeting cars might not be around the corner, Ford will soon add Twitter feed capability to its SYNC-equipped cars later this year.

[Source: NYT]

Colum Wood
Colum Wood

With AutoGuide from its launch, Colum previously acted as Editor-in-Chief of Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine where he became a certifiable car snob driving supercars like the Koenigsegg CCX and racing down the autobahn in anything over 500 hp. He has won numerous automotive journalism awards including the Best Video Journalism Award in 2014 and 2015 from the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Colum founded Geared Content Studios, VerticalScope's in-house branded content division and works to find ways to integrate brands organically into content.

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  • Chad Chad on Jul 23, 2010

    As a safety feature, the headlights should ALWAYS be on. They aren't just for seeing at night.

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