Come on Consumer Reports… you can’t make vehicle technology go away!

Consumer Reports said the MyFord Touch system is complicated but did they take the time to learn it. And, did anyone ever show them how it all works?

By Vincent Hennigan, Sync Specialist

A Consumer Reports article took a shot at Ford Motor Company by saying the MyFord Touch systems STINK. Come on CR, you can’t make technology go away!

I look at this issue from a whole different perspective.  I think the real issue is learning, adapting and using new technology in vehicles. Some drivers say new technologies, such as Bluetooth streaming music, voice-activated navigation systems or adaptive cruise controls are too complicated. Some say it is too distracting.  Others are used to carrying and using a smartphone and they think vehicle technologies are too slow and don’t offer enough options.

Let’s just generally say older drivers are more comfortable with the “old school” of driving. They like few controls, they prefer buttons and knobs that you can actually turn, push or click, and they love simplicity. And, let’s just generally say drivers under the age of 25 feel comfortable listening to their own music, using voice commands to find the closest pizza at the best price and hearing an assortment of chirps and beeps that remind them to stay within the white lines. Continue reading

MyFord Touch Workshop: Transferring personal photos to the dashboard

Isn’t it about time to “personalize” your dashboard with photos of your family, your favorite vacation spot, etc.? This workshop explains how on your Ford Navigation system.

Many Ford owners with the MyFord Touch screen navigation systems aren’t aware that they can personalize their “home” screen. This is a workshop on personalizing your dashboard.

If you have the Ford touch-screen NAV system with SYNC… this would be systems in the 2010 (or newer) Fusion, Escape, F-150, F-250, F-350, Taurus, Flex, Mustang vehicles. Take your digital photos to your home computer or laptop (hopefully you have a software program such as Adobe AfterEffects, Photoshop or some other photo editing program). Take your images into a .jpg format — in some cases you can use .gif, .png or .bmp formats. Maximum file size is 1.5MB, maximum number of photos for your “dashboard library” is 32. Recommended dimensions are 800 pixels wide by 378 pixels high. Vertical photos don’t work so well – sometimes you can edit two or more vertical photos together to create one wide-format photo.

Once you have you photos edited to those parameters, transfer/copy them to a CD/R or DVD/R disk. Please note: Your PC, when you place in a recordable CD, will ask how you wish to “format” the disk (especially on Windows 7).

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Ford – On Technology Road

Bill Ford, Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman, explains a “Blueprint for Mobility” to address the predicted global vehicle gridlock — with technology as the key to solving this crisis.

Ford has set its sights to be on the Technology Road as the number of vehicles on the roads is forecast to grow from today’s 1 billion to up to 4 billion by mid-century.

Earlier this year, Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford told an audience of the Mobile World Congress that Ford is outlining the company’s “Blueprint for Mobility” to address future vehicle gridlock by creating a global transportation network that utilizes communication between vehicles, transport infrastructure and individual mobile devices.

Ford explained that no one company or industry would be able to solve the mobility issue alone. And, the effectiveness of any plan would be contingent on customer acceptance of new technologies.

Ford predicted, “If we do nothing, we face the prospect of ‘global gridlock’, a never-ending traffic jam that wastes time, energy and resources and even compromises the flow of commerce and healthcare.” He continued, “The cooperation needed between the automotive and telecommunications industries will be greater than ever as we prepare for and manage the future.  We will need to develop new technologies, as well as new ways of looking at the world.” Continue reading

Ford is developing new technologies

Ford is developing technology that will guide you through your daily traffic jams so you can enjoy your latte

Ford Motor Company is developing intelligent, new driving technologies designed to help frustrated drivers handle traffic jams and park more efficiently.

Ford’s early prototypes of two such technologies – Traffic Jam Assist and an advanced version of active park assist, evolved to offer hands-free perpendicular parking – are designed to interact with a vehicle’s surroundings, reduce driver stress and help reduce traffic gridlock.

“Developing these technologies is part of the first step in a journey toward a more connected future,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation. “It’s an undertaking we believe will save time, conserve resources, lower emissions, improve safety and help reduce driver stress.”

Have a look at this video on Traffic Jam Assist

Traffic Jam Assist is an intelligent driving technology that uses radar and camera technology to help a vehicle keep pace with other vehicles in traffic and provide automated steering control to stay in the current lane, reducing driver stress and potentially improving vehicle flow. Continue reading

Getting in Sync with Sync with Tech Support

One of the overlooked things with all of the new technology available in vehicles nowadays is the vehicle manufacturer’s commitment to online customer support. Ford’s technology website, allows someone who’s just shopping for information to get what they need as well as provide complete support for the customer.

By visiting this website, Ford Technology, you can find a wealth of information about Ford Technology – navigation, infotainment, lane keeping, EcoBoost engines and everything else.

By visiting the main support site, Support.Ford.Com , you can explore the hands-free technology on Continue reading

Workshop: Get More Ford Sync Music

Using Bluetooth streaming more effectively

Here’s five ways to get more music from your Ford Sync system.

By Vincent Hennigan, Ford Sync Specialist

The focus of this workshop is simple – to get the most out of your Ford Sync music with the hands-free infotainment system found on most Fords – especially those built since 2010.

First, streamline the access to your music.

Yes, it’s true the iPhone has a port for recharging that has a USB plug on one end. You can plug it into a wall adapter to recharge the phone. You can plug the phone into a computer (by accessing iTunes) so you can back-up (sync) your files with the computer, install larger apps, move files (movies, photos) and/or charge the phone. You can push the “voice” button on the steering wheel and say Bluetooth. You can say, “Play,” “Shuffle,” or “Pause” but don’t ask the system to “Play Artist Rolling Stones.” You can plug your iPhone into the vehicle through the USB port, but don’t expect the system to find it by saying “Bluetooth Audio.”  Also, don’t go to your phone’s screen and expect to be able to scroll through your playlists. The screen will not show any details, but you can (after you let the Sync system “index” your files for a few minutes) say, “Play Artist Rolling Stones” and have it locate and play all of your Stone’s tracks. So the moral of the story: Get a 4GB, 8GB, 16GB or larger USB jump drive and transfer all of your music files to the jump drive. Then plug this USB into your vehicles USB port. Then you can access the music by pushing the voice button and saying “USB.” Then you can use voice commands to search by song title or artist name. When you’re at BestBuy or other electronic store, you can find a USB charger that fits into your 12-volt charge port on your vehicle dash. This will charge your phone batteries faster than a stand USB connection. Also, if you have iTunes on your computer, you can play your CDs and let iTunes records the material into Mp3 or Mp4a format. Most store-bought CDs will transfer over artist information, such as song title, length of track, and so on through Gracenote® technology. Once you have recorded your music though iTunes it will be “searchable” through a system such as Ford’s Sync. Continue reading

Ford Staying Between the Lines with New Tech

New Lane Keeping technology is now available on the 2013 Ford Explorer and Fusion and can help make drowsy drivers have a safer driving experience.

Ford is helping drivers stay between the lines with new tech – a sophisticated lane keeping technology now available for the everyday driver in the Explorer and Fusion models.

The new Lane Keeping System is an available option that can warn drivers if it detects they are getting too tired to drive. Vehicles with the new technology are already arriving at Ford dealerships around the country. The system has three unique features designed to help drivers stay in control behind the wheel, including a Driver Alert System that can notify drivers if it detects signs of drowsiness. In this case, a coffee cup light will appear on the dashboard instrument cluster to suggest the driver take a break.

The Explorer and the newly redesigned Fusion will be loaded with new innovations, including this new lane keeping technology that helps drivers stay in control of their vehicle if they drift out of their lane or show signs of drowsiness.

Click here for animation of Ford’s new Lane Keeping System.

The system uses a small forward-facing camera mounted on the windshield behind the rearview mirror, and is able to identify lane markings on both sides of the vehicle. When the vehicle is on the move, the camera looks at the road ahead and predicts where the vehicle should be positioned relative to the lane markings. Continue reading

Where we’re going we don’t need roads!

It’s been all over the news in the past year or so… people who are buying vehicles who are upset because the electronics don’t seem to work. On one hand there are consumers who are looking for something to get from point A to point B, while others are wanting to push buttons, touch a screen and give some voice commands to take them down the road.

Some critics suggested that Ford Motor Company had seriously erred when it introduced its MyFord Touch System – the latest evolution of its new in-vehicle technology – in the new Explorer, Edge and some Focuses. They have been listening and creating solutions.

This path started with the partnership of Microsoft with its Sync Technology and Ford in January 2007. At first the Sync system offered a way to let your vehicle use Bluetooth technology to extend your phone’s ability to make and receive calls hands free through the vehicle’s sound system.

Now Sync has evolved into so much more.  Ford is one of the few auto manufacturers who have ventured into the technical wilderness. Few auto companies want to be the first to bring something to the market. First editions sometimes contain mistakes and errors. Continue reading

Plugging into in-car technologies!

Back in the last century GM introduced OnStar as an alternative to a bag phone or an antiquated car phone… but that was then and technology has far out-paced even consumer’s demands in today’s market.

What seems to be pushing the market ever-forward is the proliferation of the smartphone. Consumers are starting to ask a similar questions “So, if my phone can do all of those fancy things, why can’t my automobile?”  Auto manufacturers are scrambling to create the technology that provides the driver the connectivity they want.

Ford Motor Company, with its Microsoft Sync systems, and now with its MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems, seems to be light years ahead of the competition.

Not a day goes by at a Ford dealership when a customer discovers all of the services they can obtain through Sync and Ford’s Traffic, Directions and Information (TDI) service and they realize that it’s a whole lot of technology for them to use in their vehicles. Continue reading

Peace of Mind with Ford’s Sync Technology

Ford’s 911 Assist, a part of Ford’s exclusive SYNC technology system since 2009, may be one of the handiest features drivers hope they’ll never need. It also gives drivers peace of mind!

On any given day, you may be driving your brand-new Ford vehicle when the unexpected happens – another car might crash into you or there might be some other traffic accident. After almost any accident the driver is dazed and confused, totally unsure of what just happened. Then the next thing you might hear from your car is a woman’s voice that says… “A 911 call is being placed.”
In the event of an accident involving the activation of an air bag or, on certain vehicles, the emergency fuel pump shutoff, 911 Assist will place a call directly to a local 911 emergency operator. In such a situation that an occupant cannot respond, SYNC speaks to the 911 service and alerts an operator that a crash has occurred.
When a cell phone is properly paired, turned on and connected to SYNC ― which is designed to occur every time the driver enters the vehicle with his or her cell phone ― the system is ready to go.

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