On a quintessentially cold, wet day in Portland’s Pioneer Square March 13–14, members of the press had their first chance to drive the 2013 models of the Ford Flex and Ford Taurus, both featuring SYNC, powered by Microsoft, with the MyFord Touch Performance Upgrade. The company also rolled out the 2013 Ford Mustang equipped with SYNC AppLink, a factory-installed feature that gives SYNC users voice control of apps stored on their smartphones.
During a presentation, Ford representatives noted recent findings from research firm J.D. Power and Associates that “advanced technology” is among the 10 most critical factors for new-vehicle buyers in choosing a new car. In response to customer feedback, Ford worked with the Windows Embedded Automotive team to improve the SYNC with MyFord Touch experience for drivers and passengers.
The goal of the upgrade was to provide an infotainment system that is more responsive and easier to use, delivering further on the original intent of SYNC with MyFord Touch: To keep drivers’ hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, while not sacrificing their ability to access content on their infotainment systems, smartphones or other mobile devices. Among the improvements were reducing the number of buttons on the touch screen and increasing the size of buttons and fonts so screens are easier to understand and navigate.
SYNC and MyFord Touch are a result of joint development between Ford and Microsoft that started in 2007. For more than a decade Microsoft has worked with automobile manufacturers and after-market suppliers to develop infotainment systems powered by Windows Embedded Automotive.