'Live-Bots' Bring the Detroit Auto Show to the Web at Ford.com

14 January 2000

'Live-Bots' Bring the Detroit Auto Show to the Web at Ford.com
    DETROIT, Jan. 14 -- Starting tomorrow, Ford Motor Company
will enable consumers to experience the excitement of the North
American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2000 virtually at http://www.ford.com .
Through the eyes of six mobile "live-bots" -- individuals outfitted with
wearable computers equipped with video capture capability and a wireless link
to the Internet -- consumers will be able to view on demand images from the
Ford Motor Company exhibit as they are recorded by the live-bots and relayed
at http://www.ford.com .
    The Detroit auto show is the industry's largest and most important annual
event that unveils one-of-a-kind concept vehicles and showcases the market
introduction of new vehicles.  By visiting ford.com and clicking on the auto
show link, users will be able to interact with one of Ford's six live-bots,
each wearing a wrist-mounted touch panel LCD screen, and have their show-
related questions answered instantly by the live-bot.
    The auto show Web site at ford.com will house 50 "views" (images and
streaming video) of the Ford exhibits that the live-bots have taped and which
users may access on demand.  Each day from January 15 to 23, users will be
able to vote on which parts of the show they would like to see that are not
already available for viewing.  At the end of each day, the votes will be
tallied, and the winning view will be taped and available at the site the
following day.  Auto show site visitors will also be able to learn about the
announcements that Ford Motor Company has made during the show and view
archived NAIAS 2000 Web casts and video clips.
    "Our live-bots allow consumers to interact with Ford's vision of the
future of driving," said Dave Sanabria, new business development manager for
Ford Motor Company's Consumer e-Business Group.  "This is just another way
that Ford is working to enhance our customer relationships."
    There is a special live-bot sneak preview tonight from approximately 5:45-
6:45 p.m. EST, during the opening of the sold-out Charity Preview Event.  The
black-tie event will host more than 17,000 people including top executives,
sports figures, and other celebrities to raise more than $4.375 million for 11
Detroit-area children's charities.
    "This is a high-tech execution of a great concept," said Patrick
Sarkissian, managing director of Eye4U Active Media, lead developer of the
auto show site.  "We've combined live streaming video, Macromedia Flash 4.0
and dynamic polling to obtain consumer input.  A consistent message is sent
both at the show and online -- 'Ford Motor Company wants to hear from you.'"
    The NAIAS is the longest running auto show in the country and the only
international auto show sponsored by an auto dealer association.  Each year,
more than 40 auto manufacturers from around the globe come together to exhibit
more than 700 of its current model and concept cars and trucks.

    About Ford Motor Company
    Ford Motor Company is the world's largest producer of trucks and the
second-largest producer of cars and trucks combined, marketing and selling
approximately 7 million vehicles globally through its seven brands last year.
Ford Motor Company employs approximately 345,000 people in plants, offices and
laboratories to serve consumers in more than 200 countries and territories.
Ford also is one of the largest providers of financial services worldwide
through 2,400 branches in 33 countries.

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