Ford Reworks Sync with MyFord Touch

myford-touch1-650x520

Ready to fulfill your Knight Rider fantasy of owning a fully automated car with personality, like KITT?

Sorry, you’ll still need to cobble together a replica and sculpt your own Hasselhoff hair, for now. But Ford will bring the ordinary buying public a step closer this year with the introduction of MyFord Touch, the next generation of the longstanding Sync project with Microsoft. The company showed off live examples of the technology at the Microsoft Embedded booth at CES 2010.

Along with a central 8-inch LCD touch screen, the MyFord system offers two extra 4.2-inch LCDs that flank the speedometer, delivering information on everything from engine RPMs (on the left-side diagnostic panel) to the caller ID on an incoming call (on the right-hand entertainment panel).

myford-touch8-650x418

Like the original Sync system, MyFord can tether to Bluetooth-enabled devices like phones to serve as a speakerphone or play media, as well as tap USB devices like thumb drives or plugged-in iPods for additional access to media. Microsoft and Ford have also added some new controls – like adjusting ambient lighting – and will open the platform to select developers who will develop in-car apps. Pandora and Twitter were both shown at CES. (Before you panic at the thought of drivers tweeting from behind the wheel at 70 mph, the Twitter app merely reads back tweets from friends as you drive.)

In total, drivers have three ways to control the system: by touch, by voice, and by the five-way directional controller mounted on the steering wheel. Although Sync also had voice activation, Microsoft has refined both the quality of the voice recognition and the ease of use this time around. For instance, rather than telling it which source you want to play music from, you can just say, “Play Radiohead, Karma Police” and it will figure out the rest.

myford-touch4-650x389

At the moment, the MyFord Touch system is slated to appear in both the 2011 Ford Edge and 2012 Ford Focus, as well as select Lincoln and Mercury vehicles as MyLincoln and MyMercury, respectively. It will come standard, but appear in three different tiers, the lower two of which will reduce the size and number of screens.

Check out our photo gallery of the MyFord Touch In-Car Connectivity System.

Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Mobile

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Cars

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.
Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Cars

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.