A Ford executive hinted last week that a new infotainment system will eventually replace the much criticized and sometimes confusing MyFord Touch screen that has dragged down the company’s performance in quality surveys.
“There are software limitations with the current system that we want to break through so we can offer more capability,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, said at the NADA/J.D. Power Automotive Forum. “Like anything with technology, there is a lot of evolution in capability, speed, memory, all kinds of things.”
In February, Ford ended a partnership with Microsoft that created the smartphone-like system and agreed to work with unit to refine software underlying Ford’s Sync infotainment system. Sync’s next generation is expected to enable people to control their smartphones and other devices by voice command.
According to Brent Snavely, Detroit Free Press, the complex system — now on more than 5 million vehicles — has befuddled many buyers since it debuted in 2010. They complain the touch screen is not intuitive enough and sometimes distracting from the act of driving because they have to watch the screen instead of feeling the changes through a traditional knob or button.
Hinrichs said Ford has solved most of the problems and that consumers now rate it as good or better than competing systems. Nevertheless, Ford isn’t satisfied and continues to seek improvements.
“Consumers want the system to work seamlessly and in an intuitive way. People are expecting touch screens in their vehicles,” Hinrichs said. “And they want to be able to control their music, their navigation and their phones with voice controls, and we want to make sure that is done in the simplest and best way possible.”
Let's hope the changes will increase the chances that drivers will keep their minds and eyes on the road. Is that asking for too much?