Ford has unveiled new technology that could allow drivers to update Twitter, stream online radio and surf the web from behind the wheel. And the good news is it won’t be restricted to the most expensive models – it’ll debut in the new Ford Focus.
The MyFord Touch technology was unveiled yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas by Ford chief executive Alan Mulally.
In his words: “We are bringing the internet to the car. All the applications you can get on mobile phones, we’ll bring in the car. It will all be absolutely hands-free and voice activated – keeping the driver focused on the road.”
Powered by Ford’s SYNC technology – and designed in conjunction with Microsoft – developments include everything from Wi-Fi connectivity and voice recognition to facilities for text messages or tweets to be read aloud to drivers.
Drivers will not initially be able to use voice recognition to compose and upload tweets whilst on the move due to safety concerns.
Drivers will be confronted with two 4.2-inch full-colour LCD screens either side of the speedometer and a larger screen above the centre console.
Users will be able to personalise this information – from setting your favourite photo as a screensaver to a combination of music, climate and traffic information. USB and SD card slots will allow drivers to input media.
But American Road Safety organisation the AAA have expressed concerns: “The more things that are going on in a vehicle, the more things can distract a driver,” said a spokeswoman.
“You have only so much attention to give, and we really want everyone to keep it fully on the road for safety reasons.”
MyFord Touch technology will launch in America this year before going global on the Ford Focus in 2011.