Ford announces MyFord Touch with dual 4.2" LCDs, Wi-Fi and improved voice recognition

Ford announces MyFord Touch with dual 4.2" LCDs, Wi-Fi and improved voice recognition

Summary: Leading up to Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally's keynote address at CEO 2010 tonight, the American auto maker has already unveiled the MyFord Touch interface, dubbed as the "intuitive driver experience."

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It may be 2010 and we don't have flying cars yet, but first there's this.

Leading up to Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally's keynote address at CEO 2010 tonight, the American auto maker has already unveiled the MyFord Touch interface, dubbed as the "intuitive driver experience."

Gallery: MyFord Touch cabin tech interface

Ford has revamped the the traditional driver's interface, inserting graphic-heavy displays on the dashboard and upgrading the voice recognition system. But even with all the advances, designers say they kept things where they're expected to be, so the driver shouldn't have to be flipping through menus trying to find how much gas the car has consumed.

There are three color LCD touch-screens to look for, starting with an 8-inch display at the top of the center stack and then dual 4.2-inch screens flanking an analog speedometer. On the steering wheel crossbar, there's a five-way switch that controls the information displayed on the corresponding panel screen. All of those displays are powered by Ford SYNC, adapted from the Microsoft Auto platform.

Some of the extra techie features include:

Ford will also be releasing MyLincoln Touch and MyMercury Touch editions, starting with the 2011 Lincoln MKX later this year. By 2015, 80% of Ford vehicles should be equipped with the MyFord Touch interface.

While a lot of this is nice to have in a car, how much of it will be distracting to drivers? Isn't there a reason that talking on a cell phone and texting while driving are illegal in some states?

Topics: Wi-Fi, Hardware, Networking, Telcos

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24 comments
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  • You are absolutely right.

    "While a lot of this is nice to have in a car, how much of it will be distracting to drivers? Isn?t there a reason that talking on a cell phone and texting while driving are illegal in some states?"

    And the first time some dimbulb gets into an accident, because he/she was playing with all this useless technology, I'd bet anything that that idiot will try and sue Ford, and anyone else they can think of.
    IT_Guy_z
    • G1 and Nexus allow that now on a 09 Focus

      And it works wonders.

      But Ford... use google's android system. the GPS can garantee it is not used beyond a few mph.

      The voice recognition works.. not like sync that you shout too. I know have both.. never use sync.

      To use pandora.. i just ask for it on any android.

      Did I mention the G1 and (Nexus with made up adapter) sit nicely in the slit behind the steering wheel on top of the steering column? It blocks the odometer and the led display behind, but all else works great!!
      Uralbas
      • And you have missed the WHOLE point.

        I just hope YOU are never on a road near me.
        IT_Guy_z
      • I have a 2010.....

        And the sync works fine for me and I am known to mumble and not speak the clearist all the time. You may want to see if there is an update available for your model as I updated mine after I got the car. Also the voice navigation pretty much squashed my regret for not getting the in dash display and all that.
        OhTheHumanity
    • I think.....

      Most of it is voice recognition so that you aren't messing with it that much and just asking for it to do something. I mean we can talk when we drive, atleast I can and whole host of others, but my eyes are square on the road at all times as driving is number 1 job in the car and many just don't look at it that way. Road always comes first, but some people are just to stupid and that damn text is so important to the point it kills some people just to read it. Sad bunch of idiots on our roads causing problems for everyone else.
      OhTheHumanity
  • Distractions

    While I am a huge proponent of outlawing cellphone and especially texting while driving, I don't see this as an additional distraction to what cars already have today. The LCD screens are used to present the same information that would otherwise exist in the vehicle. Speedo, tach, engine temp, climate controls, radio controls etc... These all exist on vehicles today only not as pretty as a touch screen.
    Salonikios
    • Also...forgot to add...

      The wi-fi (which from what I undestand would be connected via a cellular modem) would also be no worse a distraction. While solely intended for passenger use, there is nothing to stop the driver from using it. The same thing holds true without wi-fi in a car. If someone wants to, they can connect their laptop with a cellular modem.
      Salonikios
      • Mifi allows several connections...

        MiFi from Sprint and Verizon both allow up to 5 devices (laptop, cell, PS3, Zune, etc). to connect via cell network using short range wireless network (within about 30 ft). Sync is just extending this technology so you won't need a special device. Now if they add a Pandora app directly to Snyc, then I will be impressed!
        gke565
  • Isn't Driving about the Driving?!?

    I understand that I may be the minority here, but I really do not want all this added technology & electronics in my vehicle. I am all for GPS, satelite radio, MP3 player connectivity & BlueTooth in cars. But adding LCD touch screen displays to the insturment cluster, 15 - 20 buttons to the steering wheel.... It's just a bit too much & does not seem to add any real value to the car or the actual act of driving the car. Face it, if people are given the opportunity to do something other than actual driving, they will.

    Every day on my 30 mile each way commute, I am forced to deal with a near miss or close call that is generally caused by some type of distraction to the driver. Be it the kids in the back seat, cell phone calls, fancy radios, putting on make up, eating, reading books.... the key thing in all of this is they are not focused on the one thing that is most important, DRIVING the vehicle they are in!

    So I am not in support of the direction that Ford & many other auto manufacturers are going with technology in vehicles.
    tgschmidt
    • While I understand..

      and even to a point sympathize, most of the reasons you listed would be distractions whether or NOT this tech is installed. Its about education and correcting the decline of common sense in this country. Do I drive and talk? Yes, only if conditions warrent and if they decline (heavy traffic, bad weather,etc) the conversation is aborted. Drive and text? HELL no (thats just dumb). The make-up, kids, other passengers, playing with the radio, et.al unfortuantely will always be there.
      JT82
    • The good news

      is that with Sync? and GPS and all the other data streams, corresponding
      the time of air-bag deployment (i.e. accident) to a call log or Tweet or
      email message will be very easy for any decent attorney. Don't be
      surprised when car insurance companies insert riders into policies that
      prevent pay-out if the records show you were on the phone or social
      media. It's only a matter of time before Law Enforcement starts to
      subpoena the data from your ride, or patrol cars have mobile data
      download capabilities. Interesting 4th Amendment questions will arise.
      matthew_maurice
    • You contradict yourself...

      "I am all for GPS, satellite radio, MP3 player connectivity & BlueTooth in cars".

      Any aftermarket systems require you to take your eyes off the road to adjust your music, change your destination, pick a new station, etc. Sync allows for the push of a button and then to speak the command. Also being tied to the vehicle it prevents certain apps from working - like reading the sports score. Stand alone systems don't know if the car is moving and provide more of a distraction as they are attached to the windsheild, floating around the car and/or cables wrapped around the shifter.

      As for the person that mentioned legal, cars are already equipped with black boxes and cell phones have records, both are being subpoenaed now for legal cases. A voice activated system might prove you didn?t take your hands off the wheel to make that call.
      gke565
  • the fatsl flaw is

    using M$ products.
    People won't buy fords anymore until Fords embraces FOSS and dumps M$.
    There are better options out there.
    Linux Geek
    • Haha

      Keep telling yourself that.

      Last I checked, Ford sales were up 2008/2009.

      I own a new Ford myself.

      "M$" is so 1999
      TylerM89
      • No laughing matter... (or is it)

        when your car has to reboot bcause of the M$ BSOD, built right into the car... like another poster mentioned, just before the airbag deploys.
        mrc55
        • Cute...

          That's cute... you still use "M$" - It's 2010 not 1999.

          I don't recall the last time any of my Windows computers BSOD. I also haven't seen ANY reports of Sync crashing or "BSOD". I thought Microsoft was the master of FUD, looks like they finally lost first place in something.

          The only laughing matter here is that you still think "M$" (And I'm presuming other variations like Windoze) is funny, when in reality it stopped being funny the year it came out, unless of course you live in your mother's basement and you link 20?? is the year of Linux
          TylerM89
          • Actually...

            I was only joking about the BSOD issues but it was a funny thought.

            I use all types of OS's, each has their strengths & weaknesses. I am impressed with Win7 but for server applications I prefer Unix or Linux platform. I like the global support and ROI.

            As for having all the functionality Ford has built into their new vehicles, I think this will be the cause for new legislation in our legal system, at least until the cars start driving by themselves. Look at who's on the roads driving next to you. Most of what I see are single occupant travelers. Distractions are opportunities for disaster and this will show in time.
            mrc55
    • Get ya facts straight man......

      Their sales are up 33% over last year while all the other car companies are down from last year. First time since 1995 that Ford has gained market share in the U.S.

      So back to your analysis, it seems very unlikely that Sync is causing sales to drop. Frankly it looks like a feature people like and want and are buying Fords now because they offer greater value for the money. I bought a 2010 Ford and people seem to like it alot, thats why I assume the sales are through the roof for this tough economic time. People compliment it very much so might want to stop your trolling and go take a Ford for a test spin before you dis it.
      OhTheHumanity
  • Now if Ford can only do something ...

    about those cheap feeling interior surfaces, hollow plasticy dashboards, etc.
    HollywoodDog
  • Ford put Microsoft in the driver's seat

    End of bulletin

    Over and out
    Ole Man