– Ford is launching the first major upgrade to its MyFord Touch and My Lincoln
Touch user interface, criticized by many consumers as being difficult to
The upgrade will appear first in the 2013 Ford Flex and Taurus models reaching dealer
showrooms this spring and will roll out to all new 2013 vehicles that offer
MyFord Touch, the company said.
On top of that, Ford is offering the upgrade
free to current owners of MyFord Touch- and MyLincoln Touch-equipped vehicles.
Consumers can take their vehicle to a car dealer for the upgrade or self-install
via a USB flash drive containing the software updates. The USB stick is being
mailed out this week to more than 300,000 MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch
Although “MyFord Touch has been continuously improved with each
successive vehicle launch since 2010,” the company said, the latest upgrade is
the system’s “first major software upgrade.”
The upgrade, developed by Ford and Microsoft
engineers, is based on feedback from vehicle owners, dealers and employees and
includes a simpler interface with faster performance, Ford said. The
touchscreen interface incorporates simpler graphics and bolder text, faster
response time so drivers can tap controls quickly, and improved voice
recognition, the company continued. Vehicles with GPS navigation will also get
improved destination entry for GPS navigation and updated maps on a provided SD
Engineers also added
new features, such as better phone
compatibility, support for tablet computers and Audible audiobooks, and improved
destination entry on navigation-equipped vehicles.
The USB stick mailed to current owners will be
accompanied by a notification letter, detailed instructions for the 60-minute
download, and an updated user guide. A video of the installation process can be
, combines two cellphone-like five-way control switches on the
steering wheel, two color LCD displays flanking the speedometer, a larger color
touchscreen in the center stack between the driver’s and front-passenger seats,
and voice activation to control a vehicle’s entertainment and information
systems. MyFord Touch also includes touch-sensitive capacitive switches in the
center stack to control radio and HVAC functions.
With the launch, Ford evolved its Sync system beyond delivering
voice control over a vehicle’s entertainment systems, Bluetooth-connected
cellphones, and USB-connected MP3 players. Sync also features two USB ports, SD
Card slot, RCA A/V inputs, and Wi-Fi, which turns a vehicle into a mobile hot
spot when a cellular USB modem is inserted.