Part of Ford Motor Company’s vision for a more-connected commute in the future includes the integration of multiple modes of transportation. For instance, simp, bicycles often have a far easier time cutting through urban congestion than do passenger vehicles.
With that in mind, Ford this year unveiled a trio of e-bikes – or electrically-assisted bicycles – dubbed the “Ford MoDe” line. The “Ford MoDe:Me,” “MoDe: Flex” and “MoDe:Pro” are the first prototypes to have been built, each the brainchild of an eclectic group of global Ford employee who answered to Ford’s worldwide e-bike design challenge.
The first of this diverse team is Bruce Williams, a Senior Creative Designer with Ford, who was a nationally-ranked skier in the US before joining up with the automaker. He’s received degrees from both the University of Vermont and Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, in Mechanical Engineering and Car Design, respectively.
Second on the list, Ford Innovation Designer Bruce Southey, is arguably the least-enthusiastic cyclist of the Ford MoDe group. He wanted an e-bike to appeal to both seasoned and novice commuters, and created a nifty “No Sweat” mode for the Ford MoDe:Link integrated smartphone app. The mode basically uses an Apple Watch to monitor the user’s heart-rate, and automatically activates the e-bike’s electric motors when his heart rate reaches a certain threshold.
Conversely, Tom Thompson is an avid mountain biker, and serves as an Engineering Manager for powertrain projects. He spearheaded the Ford MoDe:Pro, which can fold up for easy transport in a Ford Transit Connect, and is tailored toward businesses looking for an urban-friendly means to make quick deliveries in crowded cities.
Finally, Ford Global Technologies President/CEO Bill Coughlin was the mind behind the whole Ford MoDe project. He started working as an Electrical Engineer, before earning a law degree and becoming a Patent Lawyer for some time. Eventually, Coughlin ended up at Ford, where he has worked for 15 years. He has two rules: “Exceed expectations,” and “bring out the best in everyone around you.”
“If you follow these rules you can make a difference in the lives of your colleagues and, ultimately, the company and industry.”