Will Upgrades to MyFord Touch Save the System?
Automaker mails upgrades to existing customers, includes updates on new vehicles.
The rise and fall of Ford’s automotive infotainment fortunes over the past five years highlight the trials and tribulations that come from staking a claim as a technology frontrunner. As people praised Apple founder Steve Jobs after his death last year for his bold innovation, most of the attention focused on his later triumphs and less on his midcareer failures. Remember Apple’s Lisa computer or Job’s own NeXT? I didn’t think so.
While car companies know a thing or two about product hits and misses, technology moves at a much faster pace, and a goof on a gadget will probably disappear faster than even a flaming Pinto. Ford’s Sync system was a hit right out of the gate when it debuted in 2007, and it became the benchmark for a new kind of connected, mobile-centric automotive infotainment architecture.
Sync was followed by MyFord Touch, a radically different in-dash interface that wasn’t quite as well-received. In addition to the usual griping by most old-school, tech-challenged auto journalists, the system suffered a major setback when Consumer Reports criticized it as too complex and distracting to use. Then Ford fell from fifth to 23rd place in J.D Power & Associates’ highly visible Initial Quality Study ranking -- and that fall was precipitated mainly by consumer complaints about MyFord Touch.
But one of Sync's most significant features, the ability to upgrade via software, may likewise prove MyFord Touch's saving grace.
Ford today announced upgrades to MyFord Touch that include simplified graphics, bolder text, faster touch-screen response and improved voice controls and phone compatibility. Support for tablet computers has also been added, as well as navigation features such as richer graphics, smart routing options and easier destination entry.
Starting this week, Ford will begin mailing MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch upgrade packages to existing owners; the package includes a USB flash drive with the software update, detailed instructions for the 60-minute download and an updated user guide. Owners who have a navigation-equipped vehicle will also receive an SD card with updated map data. If they don’t want to handle the software upgrade themselves, owners can have a Ford or Lincoln dealer do it instead.
Ford is also pushing ahead with making the new and improved system available on all new 2013 models that offer MyFord Touch, including the new Taurus and Flex. In a press release, the company says that MyFord Touch order rates have risen 5 percent for the Explorer and Edge -- which were already at 79 and 72 percent, respectively. And Ford also says that 56 percent of buyers responded in owner surveys that Sync and MyFord Touch were “important to their purchase decision.”
Maybe it took some time for owners to get used to the system. And maybe this new upgrade will help. Or maybe it’ll be a lesson for the Blue Oval and other automakers on potential backlash that can come from bold moves.
Wake up -- Thanks for the info, Fred at the driveshaft shop is using a CV style aluminum shaft that is built for all the vibrations issues. I like the car smooth so I am thinking of buying it.
GET WELL SOON MY FRIEND !
Someone... I Did forget that I had an SCT programmer that I had done by Bama chips. That along with the stall did a lot for the auto. Also 4:10s. I actually never had an issue with programs in any of my cars. I bought the cold air and programmer from Bamachips The tech at my dealer ended up putting everything I had on mine on his. So I had a really good relationship with the dealer. I will have to look at my receipts on the aluminum shift I remember they only did the shafts and some suspension stuff. and no vibration, but I did here some where having that issue I don't think you will have any issues with the 285s because I had 275s on mine with a 1 1/2 in. drop
Wake up, I just put a Airaid cold air and a tune. The engine has always had great power. I put 285 Nitto's on the back, but I never have really tested the car with the fat tires. Your 06 Auto ran very good with just a cai,exhaust, AL shaft and tires. I guess the 3500 stall really helped. Did you have any vibration issues with the AL shaft and who made the shaft?
Just to let you know Ford will void your warrranty if you do any computer changes.
Someone... I currently have 2011 gt 6spd that I ran at the track last summer. It ran 13.2 on a very hot day. My 2006 auto ran 12.7 with cold air, exhaust, aluminum drive shaft, 3500 stall and slicks. I sold that to get the new 5.0. I have a cold air kit and slicks for it but haven't been able do much in a while. what do you have?
Best of luck Wake Up.
My grandfather (now deceased) used to think power windows were high tech. He also thought they were just another mechanical liability. I kind of think the same way he does about all of this "infotainment" stuff. How durable is it all going to be? Is Ford going to continue to provide updates indefinitely? If not, then how much is it going to cost? Original owners of these technical marvels may not be bothered with any issues but what about the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th owners? Is this eventually outdated, equipment going to be a selling point or a liability from a buyer/seller perspective or from an owner/upkeep standpoint?
I tend to buy low mileage, used cars because I hate taking the depreciation hit when buying new. I see huge dollar signs in trying to maintain a used car with all of this technology which would make me think twice about purchasing.
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