“Drive Smart” Technologies
Ford has introduced a wide range of “smart” technologies that increase access to information, entertainment and communication options while driving. These new technologies give drivers a new level of vehicle efficiency, productivity and connectivity, making their lives easier. Furthermore, we are responding to customers’ increasing demand for excellent value by offering these premium technologies on a wide range of our vehicles, not just our luxury vehicles. The all-new 2010 Ford Taurus provides a good example. This vehicle won Edmunds.com’s first-ever “Technology Breakthrough Award,” for setting the standard for technology that’s practical, intuitive and offers exceptional value to consumers while making driving safer and more convenient. In addition, Ford earned our third-consecutive invitation to keynote the International Consumer Electronics Show, confirming the Company’s place among the world’s leading electronics and technology innovators. At the 2011 show, Ford President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally introduced the Ford Focus battery electric vehicle and Ford’s entry into the growing smart-phone-to-vehicle connectivity movement with MyFord Mobile™ (described in detail below).
Ford’s “drive smart” innovations also reflect our commitment to work with industry leaders in communications, information and entertainment technologies to deliver the best-possible technologies for our vehicles. For example, we joined with the companies IDEO and Smart Design to research a new smart dashboard display system for our hybrid vehicles. We worked with Microsoft, DEWALT, Master Lock, Garmin and Sprint to deliver our new Ford Work Solutions™ system. And we worked with SIRIUS to add even more features to our voice-activated navigation system.
The remainder of this section describes in detail some of our new “smart” technologies.
MyFord Touch™ (and MyLincoln Touch™) Driver Connect Technology with SYNC® delivers a new approach to in-vehicle controls, displays and interfaces and provides access to ever-expanding in-vehicle functionality while minimizing driver distraction and improving interior aesthetics.1 MyFord Touch replaces many of the traditional vehicle buttons, knobs and gauges with voice commands, LCD screens and five-way buttons that drivers can customize.
This technology will be available across our full range of vehicles, from affordable small cars to high-end luxury vehicles. It debuted on the 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers, followed by the 2011 Ford Explorer and 2012 Ford Focus in North America. By 2015, approximately 80 percent of Ford’s North American models will offer MyFord Touch, with similar percentages predicted for the world market. MyFord Touch with SYNC will be launched in Europe in 2012, initially on the Ford Focus.
MyFord Touch won the Gold-level award in the Transportation: In-Car Driving Aidscategory at the 2011 Edison awards, which recognize innovations that touch people’s everyday lives. The technology was also recognized at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show with Popular Mechanics’ “Editor’s Choice” award and CNET’s “Best of the Consumer Electronics Show” award.
We are now adding a range of additional functionality to the MyFord Touch system. In 2010, for example, we announced an “EcoRoute” function for MyFord Touch that uses historic and real-time traffic information to recommend routes that could increase fuel economy by as much as 15 percent. The EcoRoute system was introduced initially on the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX. It will be standard on all MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch equipped vehicles going forward.
In addition, Ford is the first automaker to offer HD Radio™ with iTunes™ tagging. This system is available on 2011 model year Ford vehicles equipped with MyFord Touch or MyLincoln Touch with the latest generation of SYNC. HD Radio captures free digital radio broadcasts, which eliminate static, fadeout and other problems associated with conventional analog radio signals, resulting in FM audio comparable to near-CD quality and AM audio that sounds like today’s FM broadcasts. iTunes tagging allows drivers to capture a song they hear on the HD Radio receiver for later purchase through iTunes.
SYNC is Ford’s award-winning, hands-free communications and connectivity system that uses customers’ Bluetooth™-capable mobile phones to deliver personalized traffic reports, precise turn-by-turn driving directions and up-to-date information, including business listings, news, sports and weather – without requiring a built-in navigation system. As of January 2011, more than 3 million Ford and Lincoln vehicles have the SYNC system.
In 2010 and 2011, Ford introduced a wide range of additional capabilities to SYNC, including the following:
- Improved voice-recognition technology. MyFord Touch with SYNC relies on voice-recognition software. Ford has been working with Nuance Communications, a speech technology leader, to continuously improve the voice-recognition capabilities of these systems. SYNC can now recognize more than 10,000 top-level commands, 100 times more than when it was first introduced in 2007. These improvements mean that drivers can accomplish what they want with fewer steps and without having to learn a single, specific command for each task.
- Wi-Fi® capability. By plugging in a USB modem, SYNC can now turn a Ford vehicle into a wireless hotspot. There is no extra charge for this service, as part of SYNC. This system includes safety features to prohibit users and devices not authorized by the driver. In addition, the Wi-Fi capability is only available when the vehicle is in park.
- Voice texting capability. SYNC is the industry’s first in-car connectivity system that allows drivers to not only listen to incoming texts on compatible cellular phones, but reply via voice commands using 15 preset responses that can be personalized.
Via SYNC, Ford also now offers a variety of services that involve a smart phone-to-vehicle connection. For example, SYNCAppLink™ enables voice control of smartphone applications, or “apps.” This application programming interface allows the hands-free use of popular apps such as Pandora internet radio, Stitcher news radio and the Twitter client OpenBeak. AppLink was introduced on the Ford Fiesta and will be available on the 2012 Ford Mustang. AppLink was the Silver award winner at the 2011 Edison award in the Transportation: In-Car Driving Aids category, which recognizes innovations that improve people’s everyday lives.
SYNCAppLink™ allowing voice control for the Pandora internet radio app
In 2010, Ford released its Software Development Kit (SDK) to a new set of smartphone app developers so they can modify existing apps to work hands-free using voice recognition through Ford SYNC. This will continue our efforts to forge more open collaborative bonds with the wireless, consumer electronics and app developer communities to create a better, smarter in-car connectivity experience that leverages the mobile devices customers own.
Through SYNC with Traffic, Directions and Information (TDI), users can say the command “services” to access a wide range of cloud-based, on-demand, voice-activated features and information – including turn-by-turn directions, traffic, news coverage, sports reports, weather forecasts and business searches. In 2010, we added new services at no additional charge to current and future SYNC TDI users, including horoscopes, stock quotes and movies and travel information. The latter function provides a direct connection to 150 airlines, 50 hotel chains and 11 of the largest rental car companies in the U.S. SYNC TDI is available on the 2010 and 2011 Ford Focus, Fusion, Taurus, Mustang, Escape, Edge, Flex, Explorer, Sport Trac, Expedition and F-Series; the 2011 Ford Fiesta; and the 2010 and 2011 Lincoln MKX, MKS, MKZ, MKT and Navigator.
Send to SYNC, is a cloud-based smartphone connection that allows users to send traffic, maps and other information from their phone or the internet to their in-vehicle SYNC systems, when not in the vehicle. For example, drivers could search for directions online or on their phone and then send the resulting map directly to their vehicle, where they can access it using SYNC TDI.
We also introduced the SYNC Destinations smartphone app, which provides users with recommended departure time, travel time and estimated time of arrival based on current and expected traffic conditions along their route.
Finally, enhanced 911 Assist™ can provide operators with the ability to receive a vehicle’s exact GPS coordinates in the event of an accident. Ford 911 Assist with GPS location is a subscription-free, no-additional-cost feature to customers for the life of their vehicle. It launched on all 2011 MyFord and MyLincoln Touch equipped vehicles and select 2011 SYNC-equipped models.
In addition to all of the SYNC-related technologies and features, Ford is also offering a variety of other new “smart” technologies on our vehicles. For example, the Ford Focus Electric will feature MyFord Mobile, which will allow drivers to connect to and communicate with their electric vehicle through their smartphones or a secure website. Using this technology, Focus Electric drivers will be able to plan trips, monitor the vehicle’s state of charge, receive various alerts for vehicle charging, as well as several other features designed to simplify the electric vehicle ownership experience.
Hands-free lift gate is an industry-first technology that allows customers to unlock and open the rear hatch even when their hands are full. As long as the driver has the vehicle’s key fob, a gentle leg motion below the center of the rear bumper activates sensors that cue the system to unlock and raise the rear liftgate. The hands-free liftgate will debut in the seven-passenger Ford C-MAX multi-activity vehicle.
Voice-activated navigation with SIRIUS XM Traffic™ and SIRIUS XM Travel Link™ allows drivers to access up-to-the-minute, voice-activated information on traffic conditions, weather, area gas prices, sports scores and movie listings. The system responds to voice commands for destination programming and route selection. In addition, it provides enhanced route guidance features such as street name announcements, as well as detailed freeway exit, turn and ramp position lane guidance. Once the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) option is engaged and a destination is entered, the system will map routes using more than 2,500 miles of HOV carpool routes throughout some of North America’s most-congested metropolitan areas.
SmartGauge™ with EcoGuide is a dashboard display in the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ Hybrids that gives drivers information to help them maximize fuel efficiency. The system provides information on current fuel economy, fuel economy history, odometer reading, engine coolant temperature, fuel level, battery charge status, electric vehicle mode, tachometer, engine output power, battery output power, power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption. Drivers can use the system to track their long-term fuel economy progress and illustrate it either with a traditional chart or using an innovative display of “growing leaves and vines.” The more efficient a customer is, the more lush the leaves and vines, creating a visual reward for the driver’s efforts. In addition, the real-time system feedback allows drivers to assess and modify their driving habits to achieve maximum fuel economy.
EcoMode provides drivers of non-hybrid vehicles with information on the fuel efficiency of their driving. This system monitors the key parameters for optimal fuel consumption that drivers can affect by changing their driving behavior, including gear shifting, anticipation (i.e., driving as consistently and smoothly as possible) and motorway driving (i.e., driving with the most efficient speed on highways and country roads). In addition, the system considers the percentage of cold-engine short trips. Through this monitoring process, Ford EcoMode generates a driver profile with a scoring system for these driving parameters and offers information on how to improve fuel economy over time. This process can be translated into driver advice that can help make the best use of the vehicle’s technology. The system was introduced in Europe on the second-generation Ford Focus ECOnetic and in North America on the all-new Ford Focus. It is standard on the Focus SE, SEL and Titanium models.
Ford EcoMode in the 2012 Ford Focus
Finally, Ford Work Solutions™ is a suite of four in-vehicle technologies that offers drivers connectivity, flexibility and security to better run key aspects of their business from their Ford truck or van.2 The suite includes high-speed Internet access, radio-frequency identification tracking for real-time tool inventory, a cable locking system to secure items in the truck bed and a fleet management system in the in-dash computer. These technologies were developed through hands-on research with contractors and skilled tradespeople around the U.S. to ensure the technologies met their needs. At the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, the Ford Work Solutions in-dash computer won “Best of Innovations” in the category of In-Vehicle Accessories.
- Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control. Only use Sync, MyFord Touch and other devices, even with voice commands, when it is safe to do so. Some features may be locked out while the vehicle is in gear.
- Some features may be locked out while the vehicle is in gear.
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