Ford Bringing New IT Capabilities to 2010 Models

Ford CEO Alan Mullaly and four of his corporate lieutenants addressed the Computer Electronics Show at the Hilton Center Las Vegas to introduce the company's latest IT plans based on the Microsoft-developed Sync operating system and explain how they will benefit customers.

LAS VEGAS -- Ford Motor Co., putting significant time and capital into repositioning itself as a vehicle manufacturer with cutting-edge electronics, is integrating a slew of new IT-related capabilities into its 2010/2011 product lines.
These include more touch and voice access, Wi-Fi connections, cloud services connectivity, and popular preinstalled Web applications such as Twitter and Pandora.
Ford CEO Alan Mullaly and four of his corporate lieutenants addressed the Computer Electronics Show at the Hilton Center Las Vegas Jan. 7 to introduce the company's latest IT plans based on the Microsoft-developed Sync operating system and explain how they will benefit customers.
Back in September 2009, the company previewed some of these features to media members. Since then, however, the Dearborn, Mich.-based auto and truck manufacturer has added several more IT-related items, most of which will be introduced in its 2010 and 2011 models.
Many of the new features Ford is debuting involve touch-screen and voice access, so as to allow a driver to keep his or her mind primarily on the road. Controls on the steering wheel and a dashboard touch screen handle most of the physical input.
In fact, some features-such as the dashboard browser-cannot be operated when the vehicle is moving, for obvious safety reasons.
So many new features involve touch screens that Ford has branded the new vehicles as Ford and Lincoln "MyTouch" models. For example, MyTouch Lincolns-befitting their luxury-car positioning-will sport upgraded sound systems using THX theater-quality stereo and enhanced on-screen graphics, among other premium features.
The touch screens themselves have been redesigned and simplified through color coding for ease of use by the driver, Jim Buczkowski, Ford's director of electrical and electronics systems engineering, told the audience.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...