Ford Launches MyFord Touch – Next generation of in-vehicle connectivity

At CES this year Alan Mulally took his opportunity as they keynote speaker to spend almost two hours talking about Ford and a good bit of that talking about Ford Sync and the new MyFord Touch.

It’s an impressive system that makes use of 2 4.2” full-color LCDs, an 8-inch LCD, WiFi capabilities, navigation and a ‘media hub’.  Building on top of the existing Sync system MyFord brings Ford’s in-vehicle electronics offerings to another level.

Launching on the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX the system will be available (standard in some cases) across the Ford, Mercury and Lincoln product lines worldwide within a couple of years.  This continues Fords push to be a leader in technology innovation (never thought I’d say that!) with a fairly large leap in the overall offering.  The addition of screens and navigation rounds out the Ford Sync feature set and adds the higher end features that were previously not able to be supported.

We’ll take our time doing a deep dive on individual features of the MyFord system so check back often.  In the meanwhile, check out the Ford press release for as much detail as anyone has about the product.


  • New MyFord driver connect technology redesigns the driver’s interface with the car, matching modern consumer electronics screens and controls that have become the standard for ease-of-use and rich graphic displays
  • MyFord Touch organizes functions and settings with minimal menu layering for quick access – including personalization of relevant information to minimize driver distraction
  • MyFord Touch interface and graphics are powered by the next generation of Ford SYNC®, built on Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Auto platform. Advances include improved voice recognition, more connectivity ports including SD Card slot and WiFi capability
  • Lincoln to receive MyLincoln Touch technology as standard equipment on future models beginning this year with the 2011 Lincoln MKX
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2010 – The new MyFord TouchTM driver connect technology announced today at the 2010 International CES is designed to be powerful yet intuitive for drivers, blending strengths of the most proven interfaces in consumer electronics – including MP3 players and mobile phones – with a new generation of Ford’s award-winning SYNC® system.
“MyFord Touch, combined with new SYNC functionality, creates an experience that will cause people to fall in love with their vehicles again,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “It’s not just a technology; it’s an experience – one we hope will have people across the globe looking forward to spending time behind the wheel of their vehicle.”
MyFord, which will be branded as MyLincoln Touch and MyMercury Touch on respective Lincoln and Mercury brand products, redesigns the in-car interface, mirroring how consumers interact with most devices in their lives using touch-sensitive buttons, touch screens, thumb-wheel controls and voice recognition.
In that respect, MyFord is instantly familiar. Using reconfigurable displays and simplified voice commands, though, MyFord also can present multiple layers of information, just as the driver wants it.
“MyFord really is about managing information,” said Jason Johnson, Ford user interface design engineer. “Driving is the priority when you’re behind the wheel, so we’ve made it possible to simplify the content management so customers can drive with minimal distraction. In the end, what MyFord displays is really up to the driver.”

MyFord Touch layout

MyFord Touch retains the traditional car interior layout that has existed for decades – instrument cluster in front of the driver, center stack dividing the dashboard – and adds even more voice control plus full-color LCD screens for much of the visual information presentation. The information presented is customizable by the driver using a combination of voice controls, touch-screen technology and five-way cell phone-style buttons mounted on the steering wheel.
MyFord Touch displays information using two 4.2-inch full-color LCD screens flanking an analog speedometer and an 8-inch touch-screen LCD at the top of the center stack. A five-way switch on each side of the steering wheel crossbar – similar to the one found on most mobile phones and MP3 players – controls the information displayed on the corresponding instrument panel screens.
The steering wheel has all the necessary functions available in a very compact area, right where your hand falls as you grab the wheel,” said Johnson. “The five-way buttons will feel familiar to anyone who has used a mobile phone or MP3 player. Drivers aren’t forced to use a quirky or unfamiliar interface like a joystick or rotary knob.”
The left display, which is controlled by the left five-way controller, features information and settings for the vehicle: fuel economy, mechanical status, safety features.
The right display, controlled by the right five-way controller, contains infotainment information: audio settings, climate control, phone communications and navigation menus.
Those same right-hand functions also appear in the vehicle’s center stack, now augmented with capacitive switches and touch-screen technology, which subtly replaces most traditional knobs and switches.
Lincoln center stack applications will take touch-sensitive technology to the next level with fingertip “slider” controls for audio volume and fan speed. Occupants will slide a finger along the touch-sensitive slider bar to adjust settings as an LED chaser gives a visual representation of volume or fan speed.
Available touch-screen display
The 8-inch touch-screen center stack display is the key interface on MyFord Touch. Designers employed a four-corner solution for its layout, representing the four activities most important to customers: phone, navigation, climate and audio/entertainment functions.
Regardless of what menus customers are viewing, a single touch on the appropriate corner will always bring up the desired functionality, and in most cases, a voice command also can be used to adjust the controls.
With the four-corner layout, functions are where they’re expected to be, and they’re always visible on the screen, so it’s clear and easy for users to understand where they are in the system.
Color also is used to give drivers intuitive visual cues between the central 8-inch MyFord Touch display and the instrument-panel-mounted 4.2-inch display. Phone and communications functions always are presented with an orange background, navigation with a green background, climate control with a blue background and audio/entertainment functions with a red background.
SYNC – behind the scenes
Behind the displays of MyFord Touch driver connect technology, the next generation of Ford’s award-winning SYNC system runs the show, built using the Microsoft Windows Embedded Auto software platform.
SYNC has evolved from a standalone module providing voice-activated control for mobile devices to a fully integrated platform for Ford vehicles with MyFord – a technology that will become the global interior architecture for all future Ford products.
“With more than a million SYNC-equipped cars on the road already, it’s exciting to see Ford continue to push the envelope and explore new applications for Microsoft’s Windows Embedded automotive software,” said Kevin Dallas, general manager for Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Business division. “The car is returning to the place where consumers go to see high tech innovation.”
Features available through MyFord Touch, powered by SYNC include:
Media Hub
  • Additional USB port for a total of two USB 2.0 inputs
  • SD Card slot
  • RCA A/V input jacks
Internet Connectivity
  • Full WiFi capability including Internet “hot spot” connectivity and a built-in browser for use while in “Park” (late availability)
  • Integrated browser supports tabbed page navigation, “drag” to pan and scroll and a provides a 3-D carousel for bookmark browsing
  • Support for on-screen and USB-connected keyboards
  • RSS feed aggregator and text-to-voice reader
  • Mobile in-car WiFi “hot spot” capability through USB-installed air card or USB mobile broadband modem
  • Phone book contact photo download and 3-D carousel browsing
  • Birthday reminders
  • Enhanced error correction and reporting
Voice Recognition
  • Direct speech commands and “flattened structure” for quicker, more responsive voice control
  • Voice-command activation of selected climate control functions
    Voice commands will be available for most radio functions, including AM/FM, HD RadioTM Technology and SIRIUS/XM® Satellite Radio
  • SIRIUS Game Finder application will facilitate automatic voice tuning for desired sporting events using commands such as “Tune to Detroit Lions game” or “Show NFL games”
  • Improved visual presentation of SYNC Traffic, Directions & Information app adds directional arrows, street names and distance markers
  • Map-based navigation app provided by TeleNav via an optional SD Card
  • SD Card navigation includes SIRIUS Travel LinkTM services such as weather maps, movie listings, gas prices, and sports scores
  • SD Card navigation also adds cities point-of-interest information including ratings and amenities
  • Map data includes 3-D visual landmarks
Climate Control
  • MyTemp personalization allows the driver to store a preferred temperature, which is then accessible with a single touch of the MyTemp button
  • Different MyTemp settings can be programmed to different keys; multiple drivers in a household can each have unique MyTemp settings
  • AM/FM/CD, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, USB-connected MP3 players and memory sticks
  • New HD Radio capability
  • Song tagging capability via HD Radio Technology, allowing listeners to identify song information and store it for later use
  • Browse tracks by artist, scan lists of tracks with identical names, and browse through devices without having to change audio sources
  • 3-D carousel album cover art and photo viewing displays allow easy scanning of available material, especially combined with Gracenote Media Management
  • Media player equipped with new “Podcast” source category
  • Enhanced Bluetooth® audio support including metadata, which allows additional command and control functions for capable mobile devices
Vehicle Setting Personalization
  • Ambient lighting color control using a 3-D carousel browser
  • Custom welcome messages
  • Saved and transferrable user profiles that can be ported between Ford vehicles equipped with MyFord
  • Door keypad code control using on-screen menus
  • Where available, Active Park Assist and Rear View Camera displays
  • Image and video uploading via SD card slot or USB 2.0 ports
SYNC Apps & Services
  • Traffic, Directions & Information offers personalized traffic reports and routing from INRIX, turn-by-turn directions, business search, sports, news and weather via SYNC and the user’s mobile phone
  • Downloadable destinations when coupled with the SD card navigation function; SYNC Service Delivery Network (SDN) will be able to send a destination directly to the vehicle
  • Vehicle Health Reports will download service reminders and vehicle information directly to the in-car displays
  • Improved 911 Assist™ capability with GPS location can call for help in the event of an air bag deployment

Flexible, upgradable and ready for global deployment
Built using the latest technology from the Windows Embedded Business at Microsoft, the second generation of SYNC has been designed from the outset to be expandable, allowing it to grow and add new features without requiring new hardware. By employing a Media Hub for interfacing with external devices and media, Ford has helped ensure compatibility with future innovations.

“The Media Hub is really the key to SYNC’s new upgradability,” said User Interface Design Engineer Johnson. “Take navigation: In the past, map data was stored on a hard drive and updates took hours to load from DVD. With SYNC and MyFord Touch, if you need a map update, you take the old SD card out of the Media Hub and pop in a new one. It’ll be the first time an automaker will offer something that competes with the cost and ease of personal navigation devices.”
The system also has been configured for global deployment from the start, using one hardware package in all regions worldwide. The identical global SYNC hardware will be outfitted with branding, languages and regionally appropriate applications while the host vehicle is on the assembly line, all using WiFi technology.
MyFord technology will not be exclusive to high-end products. As new and refreshed Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury models continue to arrive on the world stage, all will be outfitted with an implementation of MyFord driver connect technology.
“MyFord will become part of the global DNA of Ford products,” said Kuzak. “Across different models, different trim levels, even different countries, drivers immediately will know they’re behind the wheel of a Ford vehicle equipped with the technology, safety and convenience features they expect.”
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit
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