Faster, Simpler, Better: MyFord Touch Upgrade Provides New and Existing Customers Enhancements and New Features

November 8, 2011

ford my touch

Ford customers said MyFord Touch® could be faster and feature simpler graphics that are easier to use and that’s exactly what Ford plans to deliver with a broad set of performance upgrades to the system – launching first on the new 2013 Ford Escape, Flex and Taurus.

 Available early next year – and offered at no charge to existing MyFord Touch owners – the software upgrade enhances the ownership experience as it was developed by listening and responding to customer feedback.

 “SYNC® has clearly been a game-changing technology and now we’re changing the game again, showing how quickly we can deliver more of what customers really want,” said Graydon Reitz, director, Ford Global Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering. “Our strategy to create the SYNC software platform and add the customizable screens of MyFord Touch gives us a level of flexibility and speed to respond to customer input like never before seen in the auto industry.”

 The new touch-screen interface features simpler graphics and controls that are easier to use. Customers will also experience significantly faster touch-screen response times, one of the top requests from owners.

 New features include support for tablet devices and Audible.com audiobooks, improved navigation maps and enhanced voice recognition interaction.

 For a video demonstration of the improvements, please visit http://youtu.be/c3k4iDZyhYE.

 Listening to customers

Since MyFord launched last fall, Ford has held four customer clinics in which hundreds of owners talked directly to Ford engineers about their experiences with the new technology. Owner feedback was clear and consistent, revealing that MyFord Touch was a key purchase reason.

A survey of 2011 Ford Edge owners shows that four of the top seven purchase reasons were elements of the MyFord Touch system: the touch screen, steering wheel controls, voice recognition and dashboard styling.

 While owners reported that they love the system, there were distinct areas where they wanted improvements. Earlier this year, Ford started delivering on their requests, beginning with more instructions and information on how to best utilize the capabilities of the system.

Ford launched two programs modeled after what consumers experience when purchasing a new electronic device. First, the company added a new MyFord Touch owner support website featuring how-to videos at www.syncmyride.com. Second, free “SYNC My Ride” personalized training sessions for new owners are now offered through Ford dealers – scheduled at customers’ convenience.

 “The keys to continuous improvement are simple: Listen, learn and respond. That’s how we’re going to keep our customers happy,” said Gary Jablonski, manager, SYNC Platform Development. “Evolving the software with meaningful enhanced features was part of our plan from the very beginning. It’s no different than the experience with our smartphones and laptop computers – except now, it’s your car that gets better.”

 Upgrade your ride

All of the new improvements will be offered to existing owners of MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles, including the 2011 and 2012 models of Ford Explorer and Edge and the 2012 Focus. Owners of 2011 and 2012 Lincoln MKX crossovers will also receive the upgrade for their MyLincoln Touch systems.

 “We’re seizing the opportunity to continuously improve the Ford ownership experience, and revolutionize what it means to own a car,” said Reitz. “Introducing new technology is only one step in our journey to become known as a technology company. Consistently improving it based on what our customers are telling us marks another milestone in that journey.”

 Early next year, owners located in the U.S. will be mailed a USB flash drive with the software upgrade for installation that they can do at their own convenience. If they prefer, owners may also visit their local Ford or Lincoln dealer for the software installation. The upgrade mailing will include instructions informing owners how to simply plug the USB flash drive into the MyFord Touch Media Hub’s USB port in order for installation to automatically begin.

 New look

The visual enhancements to MyFord Touch are based on simplifying the graphics with larger, bolder fonts, removing low-priority visual content, and designing screens based on a consistent pattern. More than 1,000 screens in total have been updated with the improved look.

 “Our goal when designing the upgrade was to simplify the screens and give customers a fast and easy way to get information at any given moment,” said Jennifer Brace, User Interface Design engineer for Ford. “That meant removing buttons, relocating high-use controls closer to the driver’s reach, simplifying tasks and improving font size.”

 The new fonts are as much as 40 percent larger on some redesigned screens. The fonts also are wider and bolder to provide easier legibility, particularly among the rapidly increasing number of drivers age 60 and older.

 New features

Ford also took the opportunity to update the performance of the system and add new features for customers to help them keep pace with the fast-moving consumer electronics market.

 Faster touch-screen response time, for example, was a key request from owners. Initial testing shows that touch and voice response is at least two times faster than the current system.

 Also, the software upgrade includes the following enhancements:

 Improved voice recognition experience powered by Nuance

    • Quicker voice recognition upon startup and faster command prompt when the voice button is pushed
    • Voice commands used in conjunction with navigation are simplified through elimination of the need to provide street direction, e.g., “Main Street” instead of “North Main Street”
    • Music requests are simpler by removing the need to include the additional song, album or artist information often found at the end of a name in parenthesis or brackets
    • Customers can find their favorite sports team in action via new Sirius Game Finder simply by saying a command such as “Tune to Detroit Lions game”
  • Tablet device compatibility
    • Music and other media content from most popular tablet computers like the Apple iPad can now be accessed through a simple USB connection
  • Audible.com audiobook support
    • Listen to Audible.com content using voice commands or the easy-to-use touch-screen controls
  • Connected navigation powered by TeleNav features new map data by NAVTEQ
    • Updated map views are richer and feature more 3D landmarks
    • Views of freeway junctions and signs are enhanced through photorealistic screen images
    • Smart routing options are provided based on a database of historical traffic patterns
  • Phone compatibility
    • Automatic Bluetooth® connection upon vehicle entry has been improved
    • Noise and echo cancellation during phone calls has been improved to enhance call quality
  • Gracenote® album cover art database
    • Inclusion of the latest music metadata available enhancing the music playback experience
    • Improved voice recognition for music search allowing drivers to pinpoint artists with hard-to-pronounce names or nicknames

Fuller Ford’s friendly sales and service staff can help you with all of your Ford SYNC questions. Fuller Ford is the Cincinnati Tri-State Region’s leader for the hottest, cutting-edge, most fuel efficient vehicles available. Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati. Check us out on the web at http://www.fullerisford.com.

 

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Fuel Efficiency Boost: All-New Ford Escape Boasts New EcoBoost Engines; C-MAX Hybrid Mileage 25 Percent Better

November 3, 2011

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Ford continues to deliver more choices for customers craving top fuel economy, offering its largest-ever EcoBoost® engine lineup in the all-new Ford Escape debuting next month and an all-new C-MAX Hybrid that’s 25 percent more fuel efficient than even today’s Escape Hybrid.

“Customers are prioritizing fuel economy above every other trait when they make most vehicle purchases,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “Ford is meeting people’s needs by offering a family of fuel-efficient vehicles – from hybrids to electrics to traditional gasoline-powered cars – packed with class-leading technology, giving customers both exciting and greener driving choices.”

The all-new Ford Escape, slated for reveal next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show, features a powertrain lineup with three fuel-efficient four-cylinder options, including the new 1.6- and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines and a 2.5-liter Ti-VCT four-cylinder. The Escape will be Ford’s first SUV to be available with two fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines, delivering class-leading fuel economy and performance.

“Expanding the availability of EcoBoost technology in the all-new Ford Escape will give customers a great range of choices for the fuel efficiency and performance they want in a small SUV,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Powertrain Engineering. “This advanced technology in the new Escape delivers on our commitment to provide class-leading fuel efficiency in every new Ford product.”

Ford’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, which uses turbocharging, twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) and direct injection to deliver the performance feel of a larger engine, makes its North American debut in the new Escape. It is expected to deliver even higher highway fuel economy than the current Escape Hybrid, which is EPA-rated at 31 mpg. The new 1.6-liter engine also is expected to deliver better fuel economy than competitors’ larger four-cylinder engines.

Since launch, sales of the 1.6-liter EcoBoost in Europe in Focus and C-MAX are exceeding expectations by 40 percent. The engine’s broad, flat torque curve has been praised for its diesel-like performance.

Escape’s new 2.0-liter EcoBoost will have better fuel economy than competitors’ V6 engines while delivering unsurpassed performance compared to those larger six-cylinder powertrains.

Ford holds more than 125 patents on EcoBoost technology, a global approach to provide affordable fuel efficiency for millions of drivers that will extend to 90 percent of Ford vehicles by 2013. EcoBoost increases fuel economy up to 20 percent while reducing CO2 emissions by up to 15 percent. 

With the addition of EcoBoost engines to the Escape, Ford will offer more advanced technology engines in its utility vehicle lineup than any other full-line manufacturer.

Next-generation hybrids for next-generation fuel efficiency

Next year, Ford also will grow its electrified vehicle production capacity when it launches the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in vehicles. Both five-passenger hybrids will provide another fuel-efficient option for customers.

fuel efficient hybrid

The next generation of the Escape Hybrid’s award-winning powertrain moves to the five-passenger C-MAX Hybrid and features the first hybrid transmission and lithium-ion battery system Ford is building in-house.

Ford’s new hybrid powertrain will be available exclusively in C-MAX, and it will deliver a more than 25 percent improvement in fuel economy versus the outgoing Escape Hybrid while still offering hybrid customers the five-passenger capability they expect.

The Ford C-MAX Energi targets more than 500 miles of driving range using the battery and engine, more than any other plug-in or extended-range vehicle. It also targets AT-PZEV status and delivers better charge-sustaining fuel economy than the Chevrolet Volt.

“The C-MAX family of electrified vehicles will provide versatile, practical options for customers who need utility while reducing carbon output and significantly lowering fuel costs,” Kuzak said. “No other company is providing this type of choice in a hybrid or plug-in hybrid.”

Ford developed the new generation of hybrid electric vehicles using its extensive experience with first-generation hybrids including the Ford Escape Hybrid, the world’s first SUV hybrid. This led to offering the two C-MAX multi-activity hybrid vehicles that feature superior fuel economy on long road trips and in stop-and-go city traffic.

“Using our platform approach to hybridization, developing two choices for customers in the heart of the market with the dedicated, front-wheel-drive Ford C-MAX was our strategy to extend the benefits of hybrid technology to even more customers,” Kuzak said.

Power of choice

Ford is delivering electrified vehicles that are attainable, meeting real people’s needs in the center of the market where it counts the most.

Ford launched the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2010 and will launch the all-new Focus Electric later this year. In 2012, these models will be joined in North America by the new C-MAX Hybrid, a next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrid and the new C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. 

Ford has 13 vehicles with best-in-class fuel economy. In the most recent J.D. Power survey, Ford leads in fuel economy in more segments than any other major automaker, answering the demand of consumers for more fuel efficiency in their vehicles.

Today, fuel economy is 2.5 times more important to American customers than environmental concerns when it comes to buying a vehicle.

Ford Motor Company has four cars that achieve an EPA-rated 40 mpg or higher, including Fiesta, Focus, Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Thirteen Ford vehicles achieve an EPA-rated 30 mpg or higher.

Ford’s recent lineup of smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles has gained significant market share in key regions of the country. Vehicles such as the all-new Ford Focus and Fiesta both achieve 40 mpg or higher, boasting better fuel economy than even some hybrids.

Fuller Ford offers Lifetime Free Oil Changes on ALL new vehicle purchases – in stock or factory ordered. Fuller Ford is the Cincinnati Tri-State Region’s leader for the hottest, cutting-edge, most fuel efficient vehicles available. Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati. Check out our entire inventory at www.fullerisford.com.

 


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