MyFord Touch

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The MyFord Touch System's 8" LCD screen, as implemented in a 2011 Ford Edge

MyFord Touch (branded as MyLincoln Touch on Ford's Lincoln brand products.[1]) is an in-car communications and entertainment system developed by the Ford Motor Company, based on Microsoft technologies. The technology comes factory installed with Ford product offerings and is based on the Microsoft Auto 4.0 software platform. It is regarded as the next-generation of Ford Sync. Announced in January 2010, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the technology launched with the 2011 Ford Edge. A USB drive, self-installed software upgrade became available in March, 2012; this update was mailed out free-of-charge to all Ford customers, and Ford also offered free installation of the update by any Ford dealer. Initial reviews of the March 2012 upgrade have been largely positive, though some software glitches remain. The update did not address continuing problems with light-touch capacitor switches (on cars so equipped) that control many functions.[2][3][4][5] Several updates have since been released which allowed for more natural speech recognition, simpler Bluetooth pairing, and refinement of the on-screen interface and menus.[6]

Overview[edit]

MyFord Touch promises to enable drivers of Ford cars to seamlessly integrate nearly all mobile phones, PDAs and digital media players into their cars. Operation of these devices, utilizing advanced Ford Sync functionality, is performed using voice commands, touch-screen inputs, the vehicle's steering wheel, radio controls, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. MyFord Touch is also capable of receiving text messages and reading these text messages aloud to occupants of the car.[1]

Fulfillment of the system's promise has fallen short, with thousands of MyFord Touch owners complaining that the system is unreliable, that it crashes without warning, that it fails to respond to commands, and that it fails to integrate with common mobile devices, such as the iPhone. Ford reliability ratings, both by Consumer Reports and J.D. Powers and Associates have plummeted because of the defects in the MyFord Touch system, and Consumer Reports recommends that new car buyers not consider Ford or Lincoln models equipped with MyFord Touch or MyLincoln Touch.[3][4][7][8][9][10]

As a stand-alone option, the MSRP for MyFord Touch is $1,000. Purchasers of this option get the MyFord Touch system with two driver-configurable 4.2" color LCD displays in the gauge cluster, one 8" color LCD touch screen in the center stack, a media hub with 2 USB ports, SD card reader, RCA video input jacks and 5-way controls located on steering wheel; Sync voice activated communications and entertainment system (Free three-year pre-paid subscription for 911 Assist, Vehicle Health Reports, traffic reports, GPS-based turn by turn driving directions and information services).[11]

Features[edit]

  • Voice-Activated Commands: Uses Ford Sync technology to control the climate, audio, phone and navigation features in a hands-free manner through the use of only their voice.
    • On-screen menus accompany voice-activated commands to let the driver see which commands they can use.
  • Traffic, Directions and Information: Visual presentation of Ford Sync traffic, directions and information applications.
    • Traffic Alerts — provided by INRIX.
    • Map-based navigation application via an optional SD card — provided by TeleNav.
    • SD card navigation includes services like weather maps, gas prices, and movie listings — via SIRIUS Travel Link.
  • Vehicle Health Report: Vehicle Report provides a personalized online report for the vehicle showing vehicle diagnostics, scheduled maintenance and any recall information. Vehicle Health Report allows users to schedule car service online, directly with the users' preferred car dealer, directly from the personalized online report.
  • 911 Assist: A form of Advanced Automatic Collision Notification, when sensors detect the vehicle has been involved in a collision involving airbag deployment and, on certain vehicles, where the emergency fuel pump shut-off is activated, 911 Assist puts the occupant(s) of the car directly in touch with a 911 operator. 911 Assist provides a 10-second window where occupants have the option to cancel the call before dialing. Where occupants of the car are unable to speak, 911 Assist delivers an emergency message to the 911 operator.
  • Internet Connectivity: MyFord Touch provides full Wi-Fi capability. The technology also includes hotspot connectivity enabling other devices to share the MyFord Touch system's internet connection.
    • Supports on-screen and USB-connected keyboards.
    • RSS feed aggregator and text-to-voice reader.
    • In-car Wi-Fi hot-spot capability through USB mobile broadband modem or USB-installed Aircard.
      • Tested Aircards:
        • Sprint 4G Overdrive – does not work via USB, although it can access the Wifi network created by the Overdrive.
        • Verizon PANTech UM175VW – does not work.
        • ATT USBConnect Mercury/Sierra Wireless Compass 885 - Fully functional.
  • Media features:

Versions[edit]

The current version of MyFord Touch is 3.6.2 (08/2013). Customers can download the software update and install it from a USB drive.

In March 2012, Ford Motor announced a major update to MyFord Touch (and MyLincoln Touch) software that is available though dealerships and self-install upgrade kits mailed to customers. The MyFord Touch software update is provided free of charge to all existing customers. Customers will have the option to self-install the update, or they can go to any Ford dealer for installation. The USB drive update software, and SD cards to update the navigation map data, were mailed to all MyFord Touch customers starting 8 March 2012.[4]

Versions List

CCPU In-vehicle Image Part No. Suffix SyncMyRide.com Version Generation Comment
10212 -AJ 1.8
10308 -BD 2.3 SYNCGen2_4.22.10308_PRODUCT
10337 -BE 2.4 SYNCGen2_4.22.10337_PRODUCT
11038 -BH 2.7 SYNCGen2_4.23.11038_PRODUCT
11063 -BJ 2.8 SYNCGen2_4.23.11063_PRODUCT
11081 -BL 2.10 SYNCGen2_4.23.11081_PRODUCT Focus only
11134 -BM 2.11 SYNCGen2_4.23.11134_PRODUCT Released 26 Oct 2011
unknown unknown 3.0.2 SYNCGen2 Released 05 Mar 2012
unknown unknown 3.1.3 SYNCGen2 Released September 2012 (BEV vehicles only)
unknown unknown 3.5.1 SYNCGen2 Released December 2012 + GPS Update (A4) new SD card required
13171 unknown 3.6.2 SYNCGen2_4.30.13171_PRODUCT Released August 2013

MyFord Touch availability[edit]

The following vehicles have been announced as being MyFord Touch capable (provided as a standard or optional feature). Note: MyFord Touch is generally available only on medium to high end trim packages.

Criticism[edit]

Unreliability of the MyFord Touch system has been cited by J.D. Powers & Associates as the primary factor contributing to a decline in Ford's standing in the 2011 "Initial Quality Survey" of new car purchasers.[12] The study ranked 2011 Ford vehicles' initial quality in 23rd position, down from fifth position in 2010. The ranking of Lincoln vehicles, a Ford subsidiary that also uses the Touch system branded as "MyLincoln Touch," declined from eighth to 17th place year over year. Consumer Reports recommends that no one consider buying used 2011 Ford Edges equipped with MyFord Touch systems.[13] As Ford has expanded availability of its MyFord Touch system to more vehicles (e.g. the 2013 Ford Flex), Consumer Reports has downgraded its ratings for vehicles so equipped.[5]

Early purchasers of the first generation MyFord Touch system complained that MyFord Touch systems crashed without warning, did not reliably respond to touch commands, and often failed to sync with mobile phones and iPods.[3] The March 2012 MyFord Touch upgrade, addressed some of these performance issues, however even the latest MyFord Touch systems (on the 2013 Ford Flex, for example) use capacitive, rather than standard, switches that lack positive feel and are extremely difficult to use with gloves on.[5]

Initial reception of the March 2012 software upgrade, which overhauled the user interface and addressed many performance issues, has been largely positive. There has since been several incremental software upgrades, addressing some issues that have plagued the system since its introduction, such as touchscreen menu lag and voice recognition commands.[14] However, problems remain, and some owners continue to experience difficulties with the system, even with the new upgrade fully installed. As a result of falling reliability rankings and widespread customer complaints, Ford announced they would extend the warranty on the MyFord Touch system to five years with unlimited miles, up from three years and 36,000 miles.[15] Some owners have expressed their hope that Ford will continue upgrading the MyFord Touch system until it fulfills its original design promises; meanwhile owners must make do with remaining glitches.[4][7][16][17][18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b MyFord Touch Defines Intuitive Driving Experience, Ford News Center.
  2. ^ Arthur, Charles (November 7, 2011). "MyFord Touch problems: Ford to issue upgrade". The Guardian (London). 
  3. ^ a b c http://www.freep.com/article/20120129/COL14/201290437/Mark-Phelan-MyFordTouch-could-hamper-launches
  4. ^ a b c d http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/03/consumer-reports-installs-myford-mylincoln-touch-flash-update-notes-improvements.html
  5. ^ a b c http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/09/2013-ford-flex-received-updates-but-only-some-were-improvements.html
  6. ^ http://corporate.ford.com/news-center/press-releases-detail/pr-new-2014-ford-fiesta-adds-myford-37434
  7. ^ a b http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/consumer-reports-slams-myford-touch/
  8. ^ http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/ford/edge/road-test.htm
  9. ^ "Ford MyFord Touch Problems Prompt Company To Send Out Software Upgrade". Huffington Post. November 7, 2011. 
  10. ^ http://www.insideline.com/ford/ford-addresses-complaints-about-myford-touch-with-2013-upgrade.html
  11. ^ 2011 Ford Edge SEL Price With Options Edmunds.com Retrieved 2010-01-16
  12. ^ Jensen, Cheryl (2011-06-23). "‘Aggravating’ MyFord Touch Sends Ford Plummeting in J.D. Power Quality Survey". "Wheels" automotive blog (The New York Times). Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  13. ^ http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/04/best-and-worst-used-cars/index.htm#Worst_of_the_worst
  14. ^ http://editorial.autos.msn.com/blogs/post--ford-releases-latest-myford-touch-update
  15. ^ http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121128/OEM/121129878/ford-to-upgrade-extend-warranty-on-myford-touch-screen-system#axzz2lyxFzLiP
  16. ^ http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/11/myford-touch-2013-update-hands-on/
  17. ^ http://wot.motortrend.com/there-i-fixed-it-myford-touch-update-released-176907.html
  18. ^ http://corporate.ford.com/news-center/press-releases-detail/caf-myford-touch-mylincoln-touch-upgrade

External links[edit]