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MyFord Touch revealed at Consumer Electronics show

Wed, 06 Jan 2010

Ford is using the concept behind its Sync technology to dramatically re-do the appearance of its instrument panels and the manner in which drivers interact with their cars.

Ford is revealing MyFord Touch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and the technology launches on the 2011 Ford Edge followed by global availability on the 2012 Focus. MyLincoln Touch will be standard on new Lincolns, starting with 2011 MKX. There will also be a MyMercury Touch, though the vehicles have not been announced.

The touch technology uses dual 4.2-inch LCD screens on either side of the speedometer that correspond with five-way buttons mounted on the steering wheel. There’s also an eight-inch touch screen to the right of the steering wheel on top of the center stack. All of this is tied together with a simplified version of Sync’s voice commands.

The left screen shows information such as fuel economy, mechanical status and safety features.

The right side has audio, climate control, phone and navigation settings; these also show up in the touch screen to the right.

Settings can be personalized inside the car, and there’s also a one-touch climate-control feature. Ford has added an additional USB port and an SD card slot for further connectivity.

The setup is similar to the way Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide uses a colorful display to interact with drivers to measure fuel economy in the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids.

Ford says the touch technology will be available thought its lines as cars and trucks are refreshed. By 2015, about 80 percent of its models will have the feature.

Ford vice president Derrick Kuzak said Sync and its advancements are in response to changes in consumers’ lifestyles.

“We saw people becoming addicted to connectivity,” he said.

Meanwhile, users of Pandora and Stitcher will be able to use the services in Ford cars, and iTunes tagging will also be available, the automaker announced.

By Greg Migliore