• Nov 13th 2009 at 9:33AM
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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


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


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."

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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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      We really need people driving and printing stuff at the same time!
        • 5 Years Ago
        You are retarded. I don't know about you, but people actually do things in their cars while they are in parking lots and driveways with the car in park. You just assume that since you can now print in your car people will be stupid enough to do that while driving. How is it possible that the first thing so many posters here think of is a negative comment?
        • 5 Years Ago
        George isn't exactly the brightest of the bunch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        >> How is it possible that the first thing so many posters here think of is a negative comment?

        This from the man whose first comment is, "You are retarded".
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm frequently amazed how well Ford Sync actually works when I drive my wife's car. It's a great system and the Work Solutions option looks really nice too.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @Yaroukh, not at all. It's just that this poster has a history of throwing around gratuitous insults. Examples:

      "There are no words that can fully express your stupidity."
      "go s--k off a big rocket."
      "You are the ignorant one here."
      "you are so wrong it is laughable."
      "You can stop s--king Toyota executives d--ks now."

      In my book, those are negative comments. Perhaps you feel differently.

      (AB seems to be blacklisting more words lately.)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Look beyond your immediate disgust at the thought of people driving and working with their printers at the same time and think about the productivity possibilities.

      Just park your truck and do a little bit of work -- no office required.
        • 5 Years Ago
        most of those anti-productivity statements come from people that have never worked outside of a factory floor, or a cubicle hell. Sales reps, over the road truckers, delivery services, field reps, insurance adjusters, etc...all work and practically live out of their cars, and features like this are incredibly useful.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thank you Syllepses

        My thoughts exactly
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have been impressed with the abilities of the SYNC on my friends cars.

      I'm still amazed that GM hasn't gotten with the program and sticks with it's On-Star system. I can't think of a single friend that has continued the On-star subscription past it's one year free service.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Finally, that cop can stop taking 30 minutes to write me a ticket.
      • 5 Years Ago

      Aeromax, you do know that the navigation screen will NOT show any info that relates to internet and Work Solutions until the car is in Park, right? That's how the system works. Car has to be stopped and in park to operate.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wouldnt mind seeing Ford AU bringing this out here...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just wonder why Microsoft can do something like Sync, it's in my '08 Taurus and has never given the equivalent of the BSOD, but they can't write an operating system that is reliable?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Most of the answers make sense..... But, while not a subject for this blog, I must add one comment. "Windows is probably one of the most reliable OSs you can buy:". The key word here is BUY. Linux is free and much more reliable than Windows. End of comment.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Windows is probably one of the most reliable OSs you can buy:


        As was stated above, if you buy bad hardware, load bad drivers or click on shady links then you're gonna have problems, but that's every OS, not just Windows.

        And yes, Sync is awesome.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because they don't have to support millions of other 3rd party hardware and software as well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It works because of a closed hardware platform. The reason why Windows gives people so much grief is because anybody can build a computer to run it. Additionally, Sync is not likely to be plagued with virii.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Windows *IS* reliable. there are two things that causes Windows to go down:

        1) defective hardware (esp RAM)
        2) broken or buggy drivers. I'm looking at you, nvidia and Creative labs.

        And 1) and 2) are true for all desktop operating systems.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh sweet! So now not only can we call, type, read, navigate, eat and drink while we drive, but we can print too!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have a friend who is a large animal veterinarian. He has a Ford truck with the Work Solutions package. It's totally changed how he does business. He can leave his home or office in the morning, drive from call to call, receive updates from his office through his cell phone, handle billing directly (and print out invoices while the customer waits) and then take his stored data from his truck and upload it to his office computers when he returns. In his opinion the Work Solutions package is worth every penny. Given that, I'd have to say that Ford deserves an award for their technological integration.
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