Ford revealed its newest MyFord and MyFord Touch multimedia interfaces at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today that are aimed at providing drivers with a less complex, more connected, and more accessible in-car platform. Both work in conjunction with the second-generation Sync system and will act as the stylish interior centerpiece in all Ford's future global offerings -- not just the high-end models -- beginning with the 2012 Focus. Ford also announced that all vehicles equipped with Sync will feature navigation systems -- audible-only for those vehicles without digital displays.
MyFord (renamed MyLincoln and MyMercury depending on brand), includes the best of Sync's mobile device connectivity and adds a more visually stimulating in-car experience than the regular button, knobs, and gauges we've come to know so well. Two 4.2-in. screens -- one in the instrument cluster and the other in the center console -- display a variety of vehicle information, multimedia data, and climate settings. Thanks to Sync's Traffic, Directions, and Information application, every vehicle it's equipped in has an audible navigation function, bucking the common belief that your wallet has to suffer in order to get an OEM navigation system.
MyFord Touch brings a higher-tech experience to the driver, offering more information in an easy-to-see format. Three LCD screens -- two of the 4.2-in. variety located on either side of the analog tachometer along with an 8-in. screen placed in the central stack -- illustrate each turn well ahead of execution, with an audible instruction further guiding drivers to their destination. Each of the instrument cluster screens gets its own assignment; the right one for vehicle information and settings, the left for infotainment duties. They're controlled by a corresponding five-way switch on each of the steering wheel's cross-spokes that's designed to mimic many of today's top smartphones.
Owners of MyFord Touch navigation have the new option of easily updating their maps by swapping Secure Digital (SD) cards in Sync's Media Hub rather than having to download new information onto the hard drive from a disc. Ford calls the Media Hub the secret to Sync's upgradability, allowing the system to be updated to reflect future innovations via USB or SD port.
Click the bottom left of the 8-in. screen and users can quickly access the Web to update their Facebook status. All systems have color-coded functions for easy identification, meaning that all audio/entertainment tasks are labeled in red, phone access in orange, green for navigation, and blue for climate settings. MyLincoln Touch versions get a unique 'fingertip slider' that adjusts stereo volume and fan settings.
In addition to SiriusXM, FM/AM, iPod, Web music and Bluetooth streaming, the MyFord Touch is HD Radio-ready and comes complete with iTunes Tagging. With tagging, drivers and passengers can store up to 100 songs' information for a later date. Once an iPod is plugged into the system, a playlist of tagged songs is created on the device and when it's later connected to a computer, queues the songs in the iTunes Store for purchase. The system will even pick up sister HD2 and HD3 channels based on market availability. Around 2000 regular AM/FM stations around the nation broadcast in HD, Ford says.
Another shining feature of the MyFord Touch is its ability to be user-customized. Owners can set some of the most often used buttons according to their own personal preferences. For example, engineers created a MyTemp climate button that allows each driver to set their preferred cabin temperature. Almost all settings can be stored on one of two personal 'keys' that a vehicle's users can carry with them in order to never relinquish a desired setup. Throw the settings on a portable USB storage drive and they can take their preferences to another MyFord Touch equipped vehicle.
Ford product planners are hoping more than 80% of Blue Oval-produced vehicles will be equipped with its MyFord and MyFord Touch systems by 2015. The first to get the MyFord will be the upcoming 2011 Ford Edge on display at next week's Detroit show, while the 2011 Lincoln MKX gets the upgraded My Lincoln Touch. Globalization of the system will kick off with the 2012 Focus when it comes around next year.