Ford Announces Free Upgrade to MyFord Touch Interface

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This morning, Ford announced some upgrades and new features for its MyFord Touch system, beginning with model year 2013. The upgrade will also be available to existing MyFord Touch owners, via a USB flash drive for free.

“Operating just like a technology company would, Ford is leveraging software to continuously update and upgrade the driver experience, a Ford spokesperson tells WebProNews. “The new upgrades to MyFord Touch will contain simpler graphics, larger font sizes, faster touch screen response, easier-to-use controls and even compatibility with tablets including the iPad.”

Some have voiced concern about the dangers of touch screens in cars. For example, there’s a comment on YouTube about the video below that says, “Touch screens don't belong in cars, period. They're dangerous and unreliable. Stick to knobs and buttons that can be operated without looking at them.”

“Research shows that activity that draws drivers’ eyes away from the road for an extended period of time substantially increases risk of accidents,” Ford Motor Company Technology Communications Manager Alan Hall tells WebProNews. “Therefore, we developed new technologies with intuitive, simple controls and voice commands as part of MyFord Touch to deliver a safer, smarter way to access vehicle functions and features. Drivers experience many different types of distractions on a daily basis, and our MyFord technology helps reduce some of those distractions.”

The upgrades will be showcased for the first time at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month, where the company will launch the new Escape. At BlogWorld a few days ago, Ford CMO Jim Farley revealed Escape Routes, an interesting promotion for the vehicle. Here’s an interview we did at the show with Ford’s Social Media Director Scott Monty:

Here’s the actual list of the MyFord Touch feature upgrades, as provided by Ford:

· Improved voice recognition experience powered by Nuance

– Quicker voice recognition upon startup and faster command prompt when the voice button is pushed

– Voice commands used in conjunction with navigation are simplified through elimination of the need to provide street direction, e.g., “Main Street” instead of “North Main Street”

– Music requests are simpler by removing the need to include the additional song, album or artist information often found at the end of a name in (parenthesis) or [brackets]

– Customers can find their favorite sports team in action via new Sirius Game Finder simply by saying a command such as “Tune to Detroit Lions game”

· Tablet device compatibility

– Music and other media content from most popular tablet computers like the Apple iPad can now be accessed through a simple USB connection

· audiobook support

– Listen to content using voice commands or the easy-to-use touch-screen controls

· Connected navigation powered by TeleNav features new map data by NAVTEQ

– Updated map views are richer and feature more 3D landmarks

– Views of freeway junctions and signs are enhanced through photorealistic screen images

– Smart routing options are provided based on a database of historical traffic patterns

· Phone compatibility

– Automatic Bluetooth connection upon vehicle entry has been improved

– Noise and echo cancellation during phone calls has been improved to enhance call quality

· Gracenote album cover art database

– Inclusion of the latest music metadata available enhancing the music playback experience

– Improved voice recognition for music search allowing drivers to pinpoint artists with hard-to-pronounce names or nicknames

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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