Ford CTO on New Ford Fusion

As Ford was showing off its new Fusion hybrid and gasoline only cars for 2013, CNET's Larry Magid spoke by phone Paul Mascarenas, Ford's chief technology officer and vice president of Ford Research.

2013 Ford Fusion (Credit: Ford Motor Company)

Paul Mascarenas, Ford's chief technology and VP of research, was in San Francisco showing off the new Ford Fusion, which now comes with a choice of engines including a 47mpg hybrid and a gasoline engine that shuts the engine off when stopped at a light or a traffic jam. CNET's Wayne Cunningham got a brief test drive and wrote some "fun facts" about the car.

In a telephone interview (scroll down to listen) Mascarenas talked about the fuel efficiency features including a "start/stop system" in its 1.6 litre "EcoBoost" gasoline engine, "which actually stops the engine when the vehicle comes to a stand still for example in a traffic jam." That model gets 37 mpg, but there is also a hybrid model which, according to Mascarenas, gets 47 mpg in both the city and highway driving, which is very close the the EPA mileage estimates for the Toyota Prius.

As you might expect from a modern car, there is plenty of new technology packed into the Fusion, including some safety features (some are optional) that "assist the driver and help them avoid having an accident in the first place." One example of Ford's active safety technologies includes sensors on the vehicle including forward looking cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors that warn you if you drift in your lane. There is also forward collision warning that detects if you're likely to run into a vehicle up ahead and adaptive cruise control that uses radar to disable cruise control if you're approaching a vehicle. My favorite is blind spot monitoring that uses radar in the rear of the car to detect if another vehicle is moving into your mirror's blind spots.

Click below for the full 14-minute interview with Ford CTO Paul Mascarenas.

Ford CTO Paul Mascarenas, photographed at the IFA tech trade show in Berlin in September 2011 (Credit: Larry Magid/CNET)

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