Self-Driving Cars

Ford celebrates how math is impacting the future of autonomous technology on Pi Day

One Ford executive is celebrating Pi Day by reminding people that math is a big part of the reason their vehicle exists.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The long road to autonomous vehicles is built on the backbone of mathematics. This Pi Day, John Rich, Chief Operating Officer, Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC has written a post on Medium celebrating the influence his father had on him falling in love with math, technology, and the pursuit of transportation solutions of the future.

Rich says that he sees Pi Day, "as an opportunity to appreciate the people who helped me understand and get excited about numbers and formulas." He cites his father as his main source of inspiration saying that he "learned to appreciate the importance of mathematics from him."

Rich goes on to describe how his father fanned the flames for his passion:

"My dad would take me to observatories and explain in incredible detail how telescopes worked, what we were looking at when we saw stars in the sky and how far away other planets were. Without realizing it, these conversations were capturing my imagination and steering me down a career path heavily reliant on math."

Cars work because of math, Rich tells readers. It's as simple as how a door opens and closes to as complex as inventing the next steps of automation on the path to self-driving cars. Programming the computers to analyze vehicle surroundings and make precise decisions requires complex algorithms, the products data injected by the cameras, LiDAR, and radar units on self-driving vehicles.

Rich urges readers to take a moment on Pi Day to, "think about and thank that person in your life who helped you understand algebra, translate trigonometry or decode calculus."

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The Ford Mustang Mach 1 is the most iconic model lines in muscle car history.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor COmpany

The Mustang Mach 1 is making its return for the 2021 model year. The Ford Mustang Mach 1 has a rich history of being a powerful variant of the popular sports car and not costing as much as the Shelby models. Take a look back at the history of the car by scrolling through the photos below from the Ford archives.

Ford Mustang Mach 1: Concept car

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford spent time working on a concept (seen here) for what would eventually become the Mustang Mach 1 as the pony car gained popularity. The company was under direct pressure from Chevrolet and Pontiac to develop a car to compete with the Camaro and Firebird.

Ford Mustang Mach 1: Testing

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford tested the performance-focused concept at their proving grounds in Dearborn as they honed the car's performance traits and body styling. A new 7.0-liter V8 engine, dubbed the Super Cobra Jet, was developed as well, and would become the top-level offering when the Mustang Mach 1 debuted.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford Mustang Mach 1 got its start as a performance package for the 1969 model. It debuted in August 1968. The car proved to be so popular that it lead Ford to discontinue its Mustang GT.

Ford made the Mach 1 package only available on fastback body styles of the Mustang. But, instead of calling them fastbacks, Ford referred to the style as a SportsRoof.

Enthusiasts can tell if a Mach 1 is an original model, rather than a restomod by looking for the 63C body style code on the car's door data plate.

1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

For the 1970 model year, Ford changed up the outside of the Mustang to make the Mach 1 a true trim level. It got dual-beam headlights and recessed taillights with a black honeycomb rear panel. The side scoops behind both doors were removed and the car got new bucket seats, deep dish wheel covers, and fresh badging. Ford also further refined the engine lineup.

Mustang Mach 1 Advertising

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1: The First Real Facelift

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

For 1971, Ford revised the content of the Mach 1. The list of standard equipment included a fastback roof with a "05" VIN code, honeycomb grille with black sport lamps, "Mach 1" badging, trundled decals, lower body accent paint, white sidewall tires, a dual racing mirror, honeycomb taillight, pop open gas cap, a competition suspension, and an available scooped hood.

1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 1972 model was the least popular of the 1971-73 models. For the year, Ford droped the pop open gas cap and streamlined the engine offerings even further.

1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford again changed the Mustang Mach 1 for the 1973 model year. All '73s got wide body-side tape stripe from the front of the car to the rear wheel well. "Mustang" script made it way to the fender and the deck lid was revised. A two-tone hood treatment was offered and the engine lineup with further slimmed.

Because of new NHTSA standards, Ford had to redesign the car's front and rear bumpers which included moving lights and emblems.

1974-1978 Ford Mustang Mach 1: Second Generation

Ford downsized the Mustang Mach 1 for the second generation. It kept many design elements for the new generation while modifying them for the Mustang II design. As the years went on, Ford left the model mostly unchanged. Sales of the Mustang Mach 1 dwindled until it was discontinued in 1978.

2003-2004 Ford Mustang Mach 1: A new Mustang for a fresh generation

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford brought back the Mustang Mach 1 for a very limited time for the 2003 and 2004 model years. The car had a lot in common with the Mustang Bullitt and received a large performance gain over the Mustang's base GT model. Under its hood was a 4.6-liter V8 engine that achieved 305 horsepower.

For the 2004 model year, little changed about the model except for some minor aesthetic updates.

Ford has announced that they will revive the Mustang Mach 1 for the 2021 model year.

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Ford is bringing the Mustang Mach 1 back.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

It was from a stage in Detroit a few years ago that Ford's then-CEO Mark Fields stood in front of several thousand journalists and proclaimed that the Mach 1 name was making a return. Fast forward half a decade and one new CEO and today the company is making it official.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 will feature a 5.0-liter V8 engine giving global customers the option of buying a vehicle with a name that first shined during the golden age of muscle cars. Ford does not directly sell the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 in Europe so this new model could fill a hole in that market.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 teaser spy photo Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

"Mach 1 has a special place in Mustang history, and it's time for this special edition to claim the top spot in our 5.0-liter V8 performance lineup and reward our most hardcore Mustang enthusiasts who demand that next level of power, precision and collectability," said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Icons. "Like the original, the all-new Mustang Mach 1 will be true to its heritage, delivering great looks and as the most track-capable 5.0-liter Mustang ever."

The Mustang Mach 1 first debuted in 1969. It carved a niche for the buying public - better performance than the Mustang GT with a price tag that made it cheaper the the Shelby or Boss grades.

"Mach 1 has always been that bridge between base Mustangs and the Shelby models," said Ted Ryan, heritage brand manager, Ford Archives. "From a style and handling perspective, the original Mach 1 managed to stand out as unique, even in the Mustang lineup – and as the name implies, it could really move."

Ford changed up the Mustang Mach 1 in 1971 and 1974 even offering an available Rallye Suspension Package. Then, it disappeared.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 teaser spy photo Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The name was revived for the 2003 and 2004 model years and featured a blend of modern power and 1970s-era nostalgic design. Its Mach 1 handling suspension with larger Brembo front-disc brakes improved on-road performance, while its matte black spoiler and hood stripe helped the coupe standout.

While Ford hasn't released many details of the new coupe model, it did release some teaser images including a close-up of the car's wheel. In that photo, the Mustang Mach 1 is wearing Michelin Radial X Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires sized 305/30ZR19 (98Y)($442.70 each on TireRack.com right now) that fit on 19-inch wheels. The car is wearing red Brembo calipers and five-double Y-spoke black wheels.

The car looks to have unique front and rear fascia though most of the body of the vehicle is straight from the 2020 Ford Mustang playbook. The two circular objects in the front of the car on the unique grille are a new addition, likely for additional engine bay cooling however there's some historical precedent for those spots to inhabited by lights. There's also a sizable spoiler and quad exhaust that look like they're straight from the GT500.

Seventeen years later, the all-new 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is set to return. on official debut date or pricing has been announced.

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