When it comes time to improve a product, who is the best person to get feedback from? That’s right, you! So, research teams at Ford talked to owners about their likes and dislikes of the MyFord Touch®, then went about enhancing the system.
Ford customers wanted the technology to be faster, simpler and easier to use. Guess what? It’ll now be faster, simpler and easier to use. Ford retained what you liked – color-coded corners, information being provided and four-corner design, for example – and augmented with bolder fonts, larger icons and the ability to see your phone’s battery and signal strength.
“Our strategy to create the SYNC software platform and add the customizable screens of MyFord Touch gives us a level of flexibility and speed to respond to customer input like never before seen in the auto industry,” said Graydon Reitz, director, Ford Global Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering.
New features include support for tablet devices and Audible.com audiobooks, improved navigation maps and enhanced voice recognition interaction. Automatic Bluetooth® connection upon vehicle entry has been improved, as has voice recognition for music search, allowing drivers to pinpoint artists with hard-to-pronounce names or nicknames. And faster touch-screen response time was a key request from owners. Initial testing shows that touch and voice response is at least two times faster than the current system.
A survey of 2011 Ford Edge owners shows that four of the top seven purchase reasons were elements of the MyFord Touch system: the touch screen, steering wheel controls, voice recognition and dashboard styling. The “new” MyFord Touch will be available early next year on the 2013 Ford Escape, Flex and Taurus, and offered to existing owners of MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles, including the 2011 and 2012 models of Ford Explorer and Edge and the 2012 Focus. Owners of 2011 and 2012 Lincoln MKX crossovers will also receive the upgrade for their MyLincoln Touch™ systems.
“We’re going to mail a USB drive to every existing My Ford Touch customer that has the upgrade on it,” explained Jennifer Brace, User Interface Design Engineer at Ford. “All they have to do is take this USB drive pop it into the media hub and they let the vehicle do the work. They don’t have to go to the dealership.”
Ford launched two programs modeled after what consumers experience when purchasing a new electronic device. First, the company added a new MyFord Touch owner support website featuring how-to videos at www.syncmyride.com. Second, free “SYNC My Ride” personalized training sessions for new owners are now offered through Ford dealers – scheduled at customers’ convenience.
For a video demonstration of the improvements, click here.