For those of you who consider yourselves tech-savvy, recent innovations made throughout the automotive industry must be a source of considerable excitement. Many are understandably blown away by the recent developments in semi-autonomous driving from Ford, which the brand is referring to as BlueCruise. Another new feature is set to debut as well, and for those of you who are thinking about test driving a 2024 Ford Escape for sale, this new feature is set to cause enthusiasm and controversy alike.
Ford has announced that the 2024 Ford Escape will be the first vehicle to be outfitted with a self-destruct option. That’s right—the same feature that’s been a part of several science fiction films and stories is now entering reality as part of Ford’s desire to cater to the changing landscape of consumer needs.
Ford has referred to this technology as “BlueBoom.” Access to the feature will be available through the infotainment screen and through a smartphone app. To safeguard against accidental usage, there will be a two-factor initiation sequence. Once self-destruct is chosen, a code will be sent to the user via text message. The code will always be the same: “Code zero zero zero destruct zero.” This code will have to be input either into the app or infotainment screen to initiate the sequence. A ten-second countdown will take place before the vehicle explodes into thousands of fiery pieces.
The question that’s being asked by several industry insiders, as well as consumer advocates, is what purpose does a feature such as this serve? What would a driver of an SUV possibly need with a self-destruct mechanism? To find the answer, we turned to our resident industry insider, Mark Scaglione. His insights were informative, and he mentioned some of the advantages that such a feature might have for consumers.
“Well, this isn’t the first time Ford has been at the center of controversy regarding explosions and vehicles in their fleet. The Ford Pinto was an unmitigated disaster and a public relations nightmare.” The controversy that Scaglione is referring to is the Pinto’s likelihood of exploding if rear-ended during a collision. “What Ford is doing is taking a design flaw from several years ago and essentially repacking it as a viable option for a modern vehicle. And, contrary to what people might assume, a self-destruct sequence does offer some very unique advantages for the modern consumer.”
Scaglione went on to explain that the feature could be excellent as a deterrent from auto theft. “If someone steals your SUV, initiating the sequence will certainly make the driver bolt quickly. Remember when the Klingons boarded the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek III? The fact that press coverage on this new technology is going to be massive will certainly make people think twice before stealing a Ford Escape, even if you didn’t see the movie. GM has been relying on OnStar for their vehicle recovery and theft deterrent, Ford just raised the bar to a level that’s much more advanced than anything GM has done in years prior.”
We asked Scaglione about the potential for insurance fraud with drivers blowing up their SUVs for an insurance payout. Scaglione said it was certainly a possibility, but with the cloud connection that so many infotainment systems have these days, getting away with such an endeavor might be more difficult than previously assumed. “There’s another advantage that Ford might be implementing.” Sacglione continued. “With Ford SUVs that can self-destruct, there’s a good chance that Hollywood might start implementing them in movies for a more realistic explosion. Michael Bay is going to be quite pleased.”
We’ll update you as this story develops.