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.