Ford announced a partnership with one of the country's leading technology companies Tuesday at CES. It just wasn't the one everybody expected.
MyFord Touch has been among the most widely disdained automotive infotainment systems on the market, practically since its introduction in 2010. Consumer Reports was among the most vocal critics, all but advocating its lynching by an angry mob armed with torches and pitchforks. Not surprisingly, then, after such a critical walloping, Ford has finally decided to say goodbye to the unloved tech, declaring the end of MyFord Touch branding in favor of Sync 3 for its upcoming, all-new system.
Episode #369 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Steven Ewing and Michael Harley talk about the 2015 Porsche Macan, what slow global sales of the Toyota GT86 may mean for performance upgrades, Ford moving to BlackBerry's QNX platform for the next version of Sync, and a possible new wave of head-up displays. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the ti
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #369 this evening, and you can check out the topics below, or drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Ask the average consumer – at least, those who follow the goings-on in the automotive industry – which carmaker they'd most closely associate Microsoft, and the answer you'd most likely get would be Ford. The Blue Oval automaker, after all, was at the forefront of bringing Microsoft technology into cars with its pioneering Sync system, and, though reality didn't turn out as such, Ford's CEO was recently touted as a potential future head of the Redmond-based software giant. But that r
When Don Butler made the decision to leave his post as Cadillac's VP of global strategic development, it was a surprise. Citing a desire to "recalibrate, reassess my priorities" in that August announcement, it wasn't entirely clear where Butler – a virtual General Motors lifer after spending nearly 30 years with the company – would end up. Turns out he took a trip to Dearborn.
Ford is doing well. It can't make enough examples of its new Fusion, it can barely make enough of the aging F-150, it's getting good brand rankings, people like its turnaround story, it's selling oodles of product and its quarterly profit numbers end in the word "billion." As other high-flying examples have demonstrated over the past few years, though, big numbers can come with problems that aren't exactly small.
Ford hasn't had the best luck with its MyFord Touch and Sync systems, as the finicky infotainment system has been subject to a critical whooping while customer issues have helped sink Ford's IQS scores. The automaker has made a concerted effort, though, to try and fix MyFord Touch. And while the results have been mixed, The Blue Oval is hoping its latest free update, set to go live next week, will make things better.
Ford deserves credit for being a front-runner in offering advanced infotainment technology with its Sync and MyFord Touch systems, but continued consumer complaints over its confusing touchscreen interface and capacitive controls has made the automaker relent. The Wall Street Journal reports that physical buttons and knobs for controlling tuning and volume will be coming back to Ford vehicles equipped with the controversial infotainment system.
Popular music streaming service Spotify will become available on Ford's SYNC Applink system, the automaker announced today at the Mobile World Congress. This will be Spotify's first time fully integrating into an OEM's infotainment system--Volvo announced late last year their intentions with Spotify, but that won't be ready until next year.
Maybe so. The online retailer and digital media monolith recently announced the Amazon Cloud Player, an application for Ford Sync that allows users to stream media from their Amazon Cloud account directly to a Ford vehicle. This foray into automotive technology got the minds at Gigaom.com thinking about what could be next for Amazon. As Kevin Fitchard writes, the logical step is to make audio versions of your Kindle library selections available in your car. As he points out, Amazon has already l
Automakers aren't necessarily known for their sharing skills unless some sort of mutual agreement is in place, but it seems that Ford is looking to create a universal architecture based on its Sync AppLink on which other companies (including rival automakers) can run in-car apps free of charge. With the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show going on, Wired sat down with Ford's Doug VanDagens, director of connected services, who talked about what such a tech-sharing plan could do for Ford and the indust
Ford used the occasion of CES to announce that the Ford Developer Program, the automaker's own app developer program, would be open to anyone wanting to participate. Ford will provide its software developer kit to registered software writers who will then have access to code libraries and documentation to allow them to write apps to "enable two-way communication between mobile apps" and Sync-equipped Ford vehicles "including voice commands from the driver."
Among the numerous apps that Ford has added to its Sync AppLink system is the location-sharing service Glympse. After The app is installed on a smartphone and the phone is paired with the AppLink interface either through Bluetooth or USB, a driver just presses the Sync button on the steering wheel and says, "Send Glympse." With that, the vehicle's location is sent to the other parties he has enabled in the app.
Luxury automakers are always trying to find ways to pamper car owners, and now Lincoln is getting into the game by offering its Sync Services complimentary for three years on all 2013 models. Based on Sync, this technology can give automated information such as turn-by-turn directions and traffic updates, as well as news, stock and weather updates. It also has 24-hour live operator assistance for when users want to talk to a real person.
It's pretty amazing how much in-car technology has advanced in recent years, and Ford's Sync system has been at the forefront of vehicle connectivity and infotainment. Since its debut on the 2008 Ford Focus, Ford says more than five million of its vehicles have been equipped with Microsoft-developed technology.