For years, Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates was the keynoter at the Consumer Electronics Show. When Microsoft first announced its intention to create software for cars nearly a decade ago, most people that had suffered through the indignities of the blue screen of death recoiled in horror. The idea of having to close all of our car windows and re-booting our cars became a running joke. While Microsoft's automotive in-roads probably didn't get as far as the company hoped, it does have one prominent application: Sync, one of the most popular options in Ford vehicles in recent years.

With Gates' retirement, Ford CEO Alan Mullaly will be taking on the big keynote in Vegas next January and the Consumer Electronics Association (CES) will honor the automaker for its efforts in developing Sync and the Work Solutions package for its trucks. Ford has continued to expand the functionality of Sync recently adding traffic, directions and general information, as well integrating with Bluetooth phones to automatically call 911 in an emergency. The show organizers have also named the new Taurus as the official car of the 2010 show. Why? We're not entirely certain.

[Source: Ford]



press release

FORD WORK SOLUTIONS AND SYNC CONNECTIVITY SYSTEMS HONORED WITH CES INNOVATION AWARDS

The Ford Work Solutions
In-Dash Computer
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* Ford Work Solutions™ and SYNC® application Traffic, Directions & Information recognized with International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards
* Ford Work Solutions' in-dash computer won 2010 Best of Innovations in the In-Vehicle Accessories category. The new SYNC application is an honoree in the category of In-Vehicle Navigation/Telematics/ITS
* Judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, engineers and media, the International CES Innovations 2010 Design and Engineering awards recognize outstanding design and engineering in cutting-edge consumer electronics products across 36 categories
* Ford Work Solutions and SYNC Traffic, Directions & Information will be demonstrated at the 2010 International CES, Jan. 7-10, 2010, in Las Vegas

FORD TAURUS – AMERICA'S MOST INNOVATIVE SEDAN – NAMED "OFFICIAL CAR" OF THE 2010 INTERNATIONAL CES

NEW YORK, Nov. 10, 2009 – Ford's wide-ranging, customer-driven in-vehicle technology and features continue to gain recognition and awards from industry experts. Both Ford Work Solutions and SYNC – two Ford-exclusive technologies – will be honored with International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2010 Innovations Design and Engineering Awards.

Ford Work Solutions' in-dash computer won 2010 Best of Innovations in the category of In-Vehicle Accessories. SYNC's latest application, Traffic, Directions & Information, was honored in the category of In-Vehicle Navigation/Telematics/ITS (Intelligent Transportation System).

"Our customers want the latest in connectivity and technology – making their drive experience more enjoyable and convenient," said Mark Fields, president, The Americas, Ford Motor Company. "We're honored that CES has recognized our efforts in providing these customer-driven features."

Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, engineers and members of the media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting-edge consumer electronics products across 36 categories.

The Innovations entries are judged based on the following criteria:

* Engineering qualities, based on technical specs and materials used
* Aesthetic and design qualities, using photos provided
* The product's intended use/function and user value
* Unique/novel features that consumers would find attractive
* How the design and innovation of the product compares to other products in the marketplace

Ford Work Solutions enables greater productivity for fleets, commercial customers
Ford Work Solutions is a collection of technologies created to provide Ford commercial truck and van customers with connectivity, flexibility and security to better manage their businesses. Available on Ford F-150, F-Series Super Duty, E-Series vans and the new Transit Connect, Ford Work Solutions delivers four innovative features:

* An in-dash computer developed with Magneti Marelli and powered by Microsoft Auto that provides full high-speed Internet access via the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network, Bluetooth-enabled hands-free calling and navigation by Garmin. The first broadband-capable in-dash computer in production, the system allows customers to print invoices, check inventories and access documents stored on their home or office computer networks – right on the job site. The office is now mobile.
* Tool Link™, a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) asset tracking system developed in association with DeWALT™, the industry leader in professional power tools, and ThingMagic, the industry expert on embedded RFID technology. This technology enables customers to maintain a detailed real-time inventory of the tools or equipment stored in the pickup box.
* Crew Chief™, a fleet tracking, telematics and diagnostics system, offered with market-leading telematics specialist Microlise, provides dynamic location and performance data fleet owners need to more efficiently manage their vehicles, quickly dispatch workers to job sites, monitor driver performance for safety and economy, and keep detailed vehicle maintenance records.
* Cable Lock security system developed in association with Master Lock®, the industry-leading lock manufacturer, discourages theft of expensive tools too large to fit in the cab.

"Ford Work Solutions is just another example of how we listen to our truck customers and deliver features and technology to help them do their jobs easier and more efficiently," said Bill Frykman, business development manager for Ford Work Solutions. "We've been the leader in the segment for 32 years by delivering real-world solutions to our customers. For example, fleets using Crew Chief have experienced increases in fuel economy in excess of 20 percent."

SYNC with TDI
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Keeping you connected
Ford SYNC's latest application – Traffic, Directions & Information – leverages industry-leading voice-recognition software, integrated GPS technology and a customer's Bluetooth-capable mobile phone. It provides simple hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, precise turn-by-turn driving directions and up-to-date information including business listings, news, sports and weather.

These new capabilities are in addition to SYNC's established hallmark suite of services, from hands-free, voice-activated cell phone and digital media player integration to the more recent security and convenience additions of 911 Assist™ and Vehicle Health Report.

Introduced in 2007, more than 80 percent of the vehicles Ford sells in North America are equipped with SYNC, and more than 1 million SYNC-equipped vehicles are on the road today.

2010 International CES
Ford Work Solutions and SYNC with Traffic, Directions & Information will be on display at the 2010 International CES, which runs Jan. 7-10, 2010 in Las Vegas. The Innovations Design and Engineering Showcase will feature honorees by product category in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center and they will also be featured at CES Unveiled: The Official Press Event of the International CES on Jan. 5.

Innovations 2010 Design and Engineering honoree products are featured on www.CESweb.org/Innovations, which lists product categories, as well as each product name, manufacturer information, designer, description, photo and URL.

The prestigious Innovations Design and Engineering Awards have been recognizing achievements in product design and engineering since 1976. It is sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®), the producer of the International CES, the world's largest consumer technology trade show, and endorsed by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), the voice of industrial design, committed to advancing the profession through education, information, community and advocacy.