Have You Been Entertained and Informed by a Ford Lately? Should You Be?

By  |  Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Earlier today, I lounged in the passenger seat while a Ford employee sat behind the wheel and showed me MyFord Touch–the upcoming radically upgraded version of the digital entertainment/information platform that the company began offering a couple of years ago as Ford Sync. The new version has a speedometer that’s flanked by two LCDs, and a jumbo color touchscreen, and it lets you do a gazillion things–from listening to music to getting directions to adjusting mood lighting in the car to turning your auto into a mobile hotspot. I loved it. And the chances of the Ford rep getting distracted and causing an accident were…well, nil, because we were sitting in a fake car interior inside a conference room in the Las Vegas Convention Center here at CES.

I’m impressed by MyFord Touch, which will start to appear in cars later this year–price TBA–and which Ford plans to roll out to eighty percent of its line within five years. It–and/or stuff like it–will be a factor the next time I plunk down money for an automobile. But this New York Times story reports on concerns that the new generation of Internet-connected car computing systems simply demands too much attention from drivers. One of the naysayers is U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who’s presumably in a position to do something about them if he so chooses.

Your opinion, please.




6 Comments For This Post

  1. Dave Barnes Says:

    Not likely to buy a Ford. No matter what.
    VW and Audi. German = good.
    Teutonic aesthetic.
    Ford not so good.
    GM awful.
    Hope for Chrysler if they become FIAT of America.

  2. AJ Says:

    Where’s the “I don’t care about this car tech” voting option?

  3. Tech Says:

    Talk about a major distraction on the road.

  4. Dave Says:

    How long will it be before some “malware” app sneaks into this system and causes a crash? Drive-by-wire quits working. Fuel system shut off. Lights shut off.

  5. heulenwolf Says:

    They’ve got to be smart about how they do it. Instead of regulators complaining “You shouldn’t do it!!!” they need to develop general guidelines for how it should be done. Draw lines between critical driver info, non-critical yet valid driver info, and infotainment and define the spectra of situations where drivers can have access to each level of info.

    Wake up regulators: people are texting while driving and killing other people. Drivers want access to their info. Some of it is legit and some of it is overkill. Even making laws that specifically address texting over other types of distracted driving don’t solve the problem because their nearly unenforceable. Anybody can look at a new technology and come up with reasons why change is bad. Given that there are no guidelines on how to address the problem, I’ve got to give it to manufacturers who are coming out with systems that do address the problem in a safer way (safer than futzing with your smartphone/music player/GPS). Here’s hoping they don’t go too far over the line between info and infotainment and lead to further distracted drivers. I certainly don’t want to be run over by one.

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