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Ford overhauls and renames MyFord Touch to Sync 3

Ford Motor Co.’s touch-screen infotainment system has been one of the reasons why the carmaker’s quality ratings have been on the decline. To mark its seriousness in overhauling the system, Ford is dropping the “MyFord Touch” name and will dub its newest version as the “Sync 3.” It is not the name that will only change, but also the entire system.

In fact, Ford is dropping the OS provided for by Microsoft and will use BlackBerry's in-car operating system, QNX. According to the carmaker’s product development chief and chief technical officer, Raj Nair, they incorporated more survey data and feedback into Sync 3 than it has when introducing any new vehicle.

He remarked that the Sync 3 is designed to be more intuitive and quicker than the current system that was rolled out in 2010. Nair disclosed that Sync 3 is designed to be “device agnostic,” which means it is compatible with any type of smartphone. Sync 3 also includes Siri Eyes Free capability for more seamless integration with iPhones.

Read the entire article Ford overhauls and renames MyFord Touch to Sync 3

Ford phasing out technology allowance given to dealers to teach customers to use Sync, MyFord Touch

The Ford brand is stopping the release of the technology allowance given to dealers to teach customers to use Sync and MyFord Touch, the notorious communication systems that have resulted to extensive owner complaints and damaged quality ratings. This allowance, which was intended to be temporary, will be phased out in two phases.

The $50 that Ford gives for each dealer that uses the Sync voice recognition system will be phased out at the end of this year. And then those who buy the 2015 models will not anymore receive the $75 that Ford gives dealers for each vehicle fitted with the MyFord Touch touchscreen interface that complements Sync.

It’s not yet known if Ford will replace this allowance. The automaker said that Ford will inform dealers about their future plans. This plan doesn’t affect the Lincoln brand. Even with the rising number of complaints, several dealers still think that it’s premature to stop the allowance. Several technology experts have been hired by numerous dealers to tutor customers after sales.

Read the entire article Ford phasing out technology allowance given to dealers to teach customers to use Sync, MyFord Touch

Ford to equip European models with MyFord Touch

Ford Motor Co. will introduce its MyFord Touch infotainment system to its offerings in Europe beginning 2014. MyFord Touch will first be installed in an S-Max concept van that will be showcased at the Frankfurt auto show, according to Jim Buczkowski, director of Ford's electronics and electrical systems engineering and research.

Buczkowski remarked that MyFord Touch will eventually be available in its vehicle lineup in Europe. Although MyFord Touch has helped the carmaker hike its profits, surveys by Consumer Reports and J.D. Power & Associates has criticized the infotainment system for the unreliability of controls, small fonts, crowded screens and lack of buttons and knobs.

Buczkowski, however, said that Ford has made huge improvements on the system and has “learned a lot along the way." He remarked that customer feedback -- both positive and negative -- has been really important as well as the things that they failed to “explain very well for customers."

Read the entire article Ford to equip European models with MyFord Touch

Expect more knobs and buttons in upgraded MyFord Touch

Ford Motor Co. is planning to install more traditional knobs and buttons in its MyFord Touch infotainment and control system to further improve the technology’s appeal to drivers.  Customers have complained that MyFord Touch is bulky, distracting and is very complicated to use, despite several upgrades of the system’s software.

After launching MyFord Touch in 2010, Ford suffered dropped in the J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study rankings – diving to 23 out of 32 in 2011 and 27 out of 34 last year.

MyFord Touch also received criticism from the Consumer Reports magazine, which said that the system does not have traditional knobs or buttons, and is instead using flush buttons, a touch screen, steering-wheel controls and voice commands to control navigation and entertainment as well as climate. Ford updated the system last spring to fix bugs, make the screen layout simpler and enhance voice recognition.

Read the entire article Expect more knobs and buttons in upgraded MyFord Touch

Amid the trend of consumer electronics gadgets getting smaller, Ford will offer next year a MyFord Touch with a new 6.5-inch LCD touch screen on the 2014 Ford Fiesta. This offering coincides with Ford’s five-year anniversary of its highly awarded SYNC in-vehicle connectivity system. Over 5 million cars and trucks equipped with this system have been sold.

SYNC was first launched on the 2008 Focus, which was its most compact and cheapest car back then. By offering MyFord Touch on the Fiesta, Ford shows its commitment to making technology affordable and accessible to everyone.

Moody said that the company expects the brand to get a boost from the availability of MyFord Touch among in-market shoppers. It determined that 65% of those who want to buy a vehicle have said that SYNC is a factor in their purchase consideration.

Read the entire article 2014 Fiesta gets the MyFord Touch with improved Voice Recognition, Navigation and Phone Pairing

Despite Consumer Reports' serious criticism on the MyFord Touch system, Ford Motor Co. remains committed to utilizing this industry-leading technology, according to the carmaker’s global marketing chief, Jim Farley. In an interview with Automotive News last week, Farley said that Ford has an obligation to listen to feedback and do everything it can.

He added that the carmaker will devote "whatever resources are required” to make the system more usable. Farley said the latest criticism to the MyFord Touch system, as written in Consumer Reports blog "Why the MyFord Touch control system stinks," won’t change the company’s commitment to being a leader in infotainment. Farley said that Ford wants to be the best at it even if it means it has to improve the usability forever.

In the blog Eric Evarts, Consumer Reports’ senior automotive editor, wrote that the magazine would not recommend dealing “with the frustrations of MyFord Touch on a daily basis even to an adversary.” The magazine has been critical of the MyFord Touch system, repeatedly saying that it is full of bugs, too complicated to use, and could be unsafe because it require drivers to take their eyes off the road.

Read the entire article Ford pledges to improve MyFord Touch usability in response to criticism

Consumer Reports' online magazine again bombarded Ford Motor Co.’s MyFord Touch interactive infotainment system with heavy criticism. The latest tirade by the online magazine comes in the form of a blog titled "Why the MyFord Touch Control System Stinks," written by Eric Evarts, senior automotive editor at Consumer Reports.

In the blog, Evarts said they would not recommend MyFord Touch, even to its enemies, as it causes frustrations “on a daily basis.” Evarts wrote that the interiors of Ford Motor vehicles equipped with MyFord Touch or MyLincoln Touch are almost without conventional knobs or buttons. He said that instead of conventional buttons, the vehicles are filled with flush buttons, steering-wheel controls, a touch screen and voice commands to control navigation, entertainment and climate adjustment.

With regards to the harsh criticism on the interactive infotainment system, Evarts said that the magazine is making an effort to be more direct in its reviews. He noted that the MyFord Touch blog just happened to be "a very clear picture of something that is a real problem." Consumer Reports made a similar comment against MyFord Touch in 2011, even pulling its "recommended buy" status from the 2011 Edge crossover due to MyFord Touch.

Read the entire article Consumer Reports bashes MyFord Touch system again

Alan Mulally, chief executive officer at Ford Motor Co., promises that the revamped MyFord Touch and Sync infotainment systems will have improvements and will be more reliable and simpler. He further stated that the company has been more stringent in its quality-control process in terms of developing the software.

That seems to avoid the glitches that have troubled the new technologies and adversely affected the position of Ford in reliability and quality studies. Mulally said that those who were considering a Ford but opted not to because they didn’t want to take MyFord Touch will probably “change their mind” if they see the upgraded system.

By next year, the company will be sending a flash drive used to install an upgrade to the owners of automobiles with MyLincoln Touch or MyFord Touch. This means that the owners can upgrade their system without going to a dealership.

Read the entire article Alan Mulally says that more improvements are coming for the MyFord Touch

Ford unveiled today an updated version of the MyFord Touch, which promises to show simpler graphics but will also be faster than the current version. Set to make its debut on the 2013 Ford Escape, Flex and Taurus, the new MyFord Touch will also be offered at no charge to existing MyFord Touch owners, offering support for tablet devices and audiobooks, improved navigation maps and enhanced voice recognition interaction.

As you may know already, Consumer Reports refused to recommend the current MyFord Touch due to the fact that the system is too complicated and can distract drivers.

As a result, the new MyFord Touch shows simpler graphics with larger, bolder fonts, removing low-priority visual content. As we said, all the new goodies will be offered for 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.

Read the entire article MyFord Touch gets updated for 2013, existing models will get it too!

Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch technology is set to make its debut in the United Kingdom next year, turning the all-new Ford Focus into a moving WiFi hot spot. Owners of the Ford Focus will be the first to experience the advantages of SYNC’s class-leading connectivity. The system will be rolled out to several other Ford units after its debut on the global C-segment model.

With an existing Smartphone or USB modem, a secure wireless connectivity is made possible throughout the vehicle, allowing passengers with WiFi-enabled gadgets to access the Internet. Up to five devices can utilize the WiFi connectivity easily and conveniently.

The SYNC’s wide range potential will allow Ford to offer everyone a level of Internet access that was recently only available to owners of expensive luxury vehicles.

Read the entire article Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch featuring WiFi connectivity to debut on 2012 Focus

Consumer Reports magazine announced today that it will not recommend the the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV and Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers due to the low scores in the magazine's tests.

The most interesting thing is that Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend Ford’s MyFord and MyLincoln Touch technology. Moreover, Consumer Reports doesn’t want to recommend the Infiniti QX56, a V-8 version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Porsche Cayenne.

“All three of these vehicles have a number of strengths, but each had some notable weaknesses that forced their testing scores to fall below our standard for a recommended SUV,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Conn.

Read the entire article Consumer Reports will not recommend Chevrolet SUVs, Ford SUVs and MyFord Touch

An additional "Eco Route" option is featured on the navigation system in the MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch interfaces that will launch in the 2011 Ford Edge, 2011 Lincoln MKX and the 2012 Ford Focus. Ford said that Eco Route is not necessarily the quickest or shortest route but it is the most fuel-efficient.

What this means is that the driver will be shown a route that avoids congested freeways and optimizes the use of major roads where the driver is able to keep an efficient rate of speed. To identify this route, the MyFord Touch system will use both real-time and historical traffic data.

The Eco Route gives the driver the chance to choose this route if he or she isn´t in any hurry. This method is actually a more effective method to conserve fuel than conservative throttle mapping or using chronically early upshift protocol on automatic transmissions.

Read the entire article FoMoCo adds eco-route feature to MyFord Touch

Later this year, MyFord Touch will start selling on the 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX. MyFord Touch is Ford's second-generation Sync driver connectivity technology that has been designed to be more user-friendly.

Sync is the result of Ford's first stab at a hands-free connectivity technology. But there were two major issues blocking its success: its multi-level commands and a limited vocabulary.

Brigitte Richardson, lead engineer of Ford's voice control and speech commands technology, said that for this latest generation of Sync, the system can be controlled without needing to learn that many commands or navigate as many menus.

Read the entire article New SYNC with MyFord Touch now recognizing 10,000 first-level commands