Ford says success of connected vehicles relies on efforts of tech firms

Article by Anita Panait, on November 22, 2013

Ford Motor Co. says that the success of connected vehicles depends on the effort of technology firms. The American carmaker urged tech firms to make Internet “connected-car” features become as seamless as smartphone apps. Ford’s drive to offer in-car innovations -- voice-activated commands, navigation software and entertainment features -- ahead of rivals has had diverse results.

Ford Executive Vice President Jim Farley remarked while the carmaker is improving its in-car technology, software firms like Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. will ultimately determine how well Web-connected features work.  “It’s important for us to acknowledge that the real value for customers with the connected car is outside of our auto industry,” Farley remarked during a speech at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

He noted that it is “pretty clear the mobile digital economy” is not in the hands of carmakers. Ford has been trying to be a leader in in-car technology, but it seems that it is struggling to do so, as some of its vehicles are dogged by electronics malfunctions that have caused its ranking in reliability assessments by Consumer Reports to dip.

Ford and Lincoln were 26th and 27th of 28 brands in the Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey – mainly due to the issues associated with its MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch infotainments systems as well as problems with transmissions on vehicles like the Focus and Fiesta small cars. Farley remarked that they recognize the “very large gap between customers’ experience on their phone, and how great that functions, and in-car traditional navigation experience.”

Topics: ford

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