At the recent New York Auto Show, Ford revealed an RFID-enabled concept van for consumers called the Transit Connect Family One Concept.
Based on the existing Transit Connect work van, the Transit Connect Family One is a forward-looking concept vehicle that combines high-tech and high-touch amenities to keep a youthful family connected, engaged and entertained.
The Transit Connect work van is a big hit in Europe, where it has been on sale for several years. Despite its small size, the Transit Connect has a large and flexibility cargo space. It also is fuel efficient, delivering 24 mpg. This makes it ideal for a wide variety of business hauling needs. The Transit Connect work van will go on sale in the U.S. this summer.
The Transit Connect work van will offer the RFID-based asset tracking system Ford Tool Link by DeWALT as a factory installed option. ThingMagic worked with Ford and DeWALT to design and develop Tool Link and the system uses ThingMagic UHF RFID readers. In addition to Transit Connect, Tool Link is available as a factory installed option on 2009 Ford F-150 pickup trucks.
While the Transit Connect Family One is a concept car and may or may not come to market, it is interesting to see Ford thinking about adding RFID to consumer vehicles. This is another example of RFID technology moving beyond industrial applications and entering consumer markets.