Escape the Room with Ford Escape

Ford Escape The Room
Here we are after the Ford Escape the Room challenge. And the good news is, we successfully escaped every room!

Ford Escape The Room

Sometimes you just gotta get away.

It’s the city dweller’s fantasy: walk out your front door, hop in your car with your friends and head somewhere sweet. But escaping the city takes planning, cash and oh, yeah, a car.

Contrast that with the suburbanite’s fantasy: Come into the city and see a show, one that challenges your brain and is filled with laughs and intrigue.

Ford Escape The Room

Shannon Entin prepares to Escape the Room outside the Moynihan Station

What do you get when you have both?

Escape the Room, staged by Ford in New York City this weekend.

The three day event, which goes through Sunday June 26th, takes players through 5 ‘rooms’ in the landmark Moynihan Station, a huge empty building on Manhattan’s West Side, and challenges them to “Escape the Room” in a brand new 2017 Ford Escape (and no, winners don’t get to keep the car).

The challenge, which combines elements of the popular Escape the Room interactive event (available in 18 cities!) with the clever technology in the Ford Escape, allows gamers to collect clues as a team, using their wits and some of Ford’s great in-car technology. Cleverness includes (and no spoilers here; we won’t give away secrets to the challenge!) letting the car park itself, using the Sync system to retrieve clues and driving to ‘destinations’ inside the building.

Ford Escape The Room

Clues in the car helped us to solve the mystery. Autonomous parking, called Park Assist, starts when you push the button the right with the ‘P’ and the steering wheel.

Building a challenge with a brilliant mind

Ford concocted Escape the Room with Victor Blake, the game master behind the interactive event. Victor, a puzzle-obsessive math whiz, created the interactive, theatric game after becoming bored with corporate life. Execs at Ford, wanting to get more people to spend a little time in the car and learn all its clever features, thought it would be fun to challenge consumers to use some of the Escape’s technology to try to solve the mystery.

Ford’s futurist Sheryl Connelly also saw the Escape the Room event as a way to engage people in something fun and memorable. “Why has the experience economy become so pervasive,” Connelly asks? “It’s because excess doesn’t bring lasting fulfillment.” Lots of stuff is just that: Stuff. But memories, laughter, being together enriches us. Ford wants to be part of that experience.

Escape the Room was the perfect event to introduce the 2017 Escape, which has even more features and technology than the last version, including voice-to-text, remote start using the Ford Pass and Park Assist which autonomously parks the car for you (you still have to sit in the drivers seat and manage the car’s speed). Oh, and Ford’s engineers moved the main USB port to the front of the center console so it’s more accessible, a detail that Victor loved when he test drove the 2017 model.

Ford Escape The Room

Autonomous parking lets you see what the system is doing while it’s parking the car

The bad news

The Escape the Room event’s 1,000 available time slots were sold out within 24 hours of the event’s announcement. But don’t fret. There’s good news, too.

Ford Escape The Room

Participants get to be in a short movie, too

The good news

There is room for walk-ins! Just show up at the Ford Escape the Room venue (33rd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues) and ask to join the wait list. And hopefully, enough people will do this that Ford will take Escape the Room on the road.

We had the chance to put the Escape to the Escape the Room challenge, and yes, it was a blast. You can see our challenge here and if you pay close attention, you might just get some clues that will help you Escape the Room.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss