Print 28 comment(s) - last by Moishe.. on Aug 30 at 4:18 PM

Ford isn't about to give up on MyFord Touch anytime soon

We’ve been reporting on the assaults on MyFord Touch for quite some time. Consumer Reports has repeatedly put MyFord Touch in its crosshairs, most recently saying that it "stinks". J.D. Power has also dinged Ford in initial quality rankings mainly due to MyFord Touch.
With so much negativity in the air surrounding MyFord Touch, it's no surprise that Ford has been kept on its toes responding to the criticism. Now, Ford's Global Marketing Chief, Jim Farley, is sticking up for the maligned infotainment system.

"We have an obligation to listen to feedback and do everything we can," said Farley in an interview with Automotive News. Farley went on to say that it would invest "whatever resources are required to make the system more usable."
Fields went on to say that all of the harsh criticism of MyFord Touch "won't change our commitment to being a leader in infotainment."
Farley also pointed to surveys that show that 56 percent of buyers indicated that MyFord Touch was an important part of their decision to purchase a Ford vehicle.

Source: Automotive News

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Physical feedback for a start
By zlandar on 8/27/2012 3:58:57 PM , Rating: 3
Who can use a touchscreen with no haptic feedback without looking at the screen?

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By Motoman on 8/27/2012 4:00:52 PM , Rating: 5
Haptic feedback or not is irrelevant. It's a poor replacement for traditional buttons and knobs, period.

If Ford wants to "do whatever it takes" then they should put in buttons and knobs. That would do it. Anything less will always be an inferior product.

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By NellyFromMA on 8/27/2012 4:07:47 PM , Rating: 2
Strangely, I think it's more expensive to assemble the physical unit than to have the touch unit manufactured. Then they spin it off as a premium offering (even if there isn't a non-premium option).

Kind of ashame as while I'm traditionally more into Honda's and Acura's, I really like the Fusion's. Wouldn't buy a car I have to use a touch screen to interact with though.

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By Mitch101 on 8/27/2012 4:14:36 PM , Rating: 2
You should be able to do everything with voice commands but I own an earlier generation Sync system without a touch screen so Im not 100% sure. Took a little while to get the commands down but you can ask it for help and it will run down the list of available commands.

I really like it but as others say I have to agree I don't think they can solve the problem without adding buttons or knobs. Without that touch feedback the touch screen is a bad idea.

I really like Sync I think its fantastic.

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By Spuke on 8/27/2012 4:23:48 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't the major update out yet? Or are they complaining about that too. IMO, any technology in cars that people can see is going to be rejected. Look at how many years the car rags have complained about BMW's iDrive or whatever it's called and when I went to use it for the first time I found it REALLY easy to use. So much so that I wonder how the folks at C&D can wipe their own asses. I found MyFord Touch to be easy too but not as easy as iDrive. Regardless, considering it's an option, why are so many complaining about it (I understand the old complaints of it not working properly)? Sync without the Touch works great IMO if you're looking for simplicity.

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By lightfoot on 8/27/2012 4:26:14 PM , Rating: 2
Quote: "I really like Sync I think its fantastic."

Sync is not the same as MyFord Touch - they are completely different systems.

By Labotomizer on 8/27/2012 4:37:34 PM , Rating: 2
MFT is Sync v2 basically. But you're technically right.

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By Labotomizer on 8/27/2012 4:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
Sync v1, the option where it's all voice and no touch screen, was really awesome. I had it for a while and it worked excellent 95% of the time. BT connectivity to my handset for music is so much better than AUX. That said the issues with Sync 2, aka MyFord Touch, have been well documented. They rewrote the speech recognition and completely broke it. So while I think the touch screens aren't a bad thing and I don't mind them, that's only if you can have accurate voice recognition handle the controls like you could in Sync 1.

It's improved since the initial release but I think it still has a way to go. It's also not always stable. There have been rumors that they're going to rebuilt it around Win RT for future models. I think that's probably smart since the interface seems like it would well with voice and the tiles would be good for their touch screens. Time will tell though.

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By Chadder007 on 8/27/2012 6:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
With Sync 2, Ford outsourced the development. They should bring it back in house and scrap the current team.

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By Spuke on 8/27/2012 8:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
The major update is supposed have been done all in-house. At least according the DT article I read. Now are these complaints about old MFT or the new major update? Is the major update out yet?

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By Manch on 8/28/2012 5:37:04 AM , Rating: 2
They did.

By kamiller422 on 8/28/2012 1:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
I have Sync v1 in my Fusion. It's okay, but has a lot of room for improvement.

1. Command voice recognition is annoying because you can't speak naturally. You have to pile through a series of "bing" prompts to do what you want.

2. Voice recognition could be better, especially with trying to navigate music.

Say: "Play artist Sting."
Response: "Playing artist Arrested Development."

Say: "Play song We are the Champions."
Response: "Playing song In the Air Tonight."

Yes, it's that bad.

And if you select a song from the jukebox library and go back to the library from the play screen, because maybe you want to see what other songs are available on the CD, does Sync take you the track currently playing? No. It goes to the root folder, and you have to drill back down to the album. Not convenient.

Just a taste of Sync v1 problems.

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By Azethoth on 8/28/2012 3:18:06 AM , Rating: 2
Let's not carried away with the old buttons either. The real UI upgrade is to steering wheel buttons + voice.

A touch screen is fantastic for the passenger, but deadly for a driver.

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By Motoman on 8/28/2012 11:28:59 AM , Rating: 2
I am in favor of buttons on the steering wheel.

Voice commands? OK, if you must. Don't really care myself.

But yes, a touch screen is a huge safety issue for the driver. As someone else has noted, they probably should be regulated out of the industry...

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By nedsand on 8/28/2012 3:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Physical feedback for a start
By NellyFromMA on 8/27/2012 4:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
Haptic feedback doesn't make anything more usable IMO. It's better than nothing, but hardly.

Haptic feedback just isn't the answer to the lack of textile reference.

By JKflipflop98 on 8/28/2012 4:24:27 PM , Rating: 3
You mean like getting yarn for Sheogorath?

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By AntiM on 8/27/2012 4:19:59 PM , Rating: 4
I would even say that fumbling around with a touch screen while trying to drive is akin to texting. The system should probably be outlawed.

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By Jaybus on 8/27/2012 4:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
It definitely is dangerous. Ford handles this, IMO very reasonably, by disabling some functions while moving. This is clearly stated in the manual, but I still suspect it is the source of many people's "frozen" screens and on screen controls "not working". It is designed to work with Sync, and I think that is a good thing. Some functions SHOULD be voice command only. Texting, maps, nav, or anything that requires taking your eyes off of the road for more than half a second should not be allowed while moving, period. Tactile feedback buttons don't make it any safer. Besides, the steering wheel has tactile buttons for activating voice recognition mode and for hanging up or redialing phone.

The only problem I've had with MyTouch is the same one I have with any in-dash LCD screen from any other manufacturer. They simply can't be seen when the sun is shining on them.

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By nafhan on 8/27/2012 4:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about outlawed, but it would definitely make sense for the driver to be able to access vehicle controls without having to look away from the road.

Other thoughts:
--It might be a good idea for the "touch" functionality to disable itself while the car is in motion (kind of like those in-dash DVD players do).
--if the touch screen is going to be used by the driver, it should only give the driver a small number of options whose locations are consistent and easily memorized.
--Voice commands and/or physical buttons and knobs are probably still going to be ideal.
--In vehicle voice commands + children = annoyingly rolling automatic windows up and down X 1000
--Kind of a wild idea: but, I feel like it would be cool if there was a HUD that mirrored the image of what's on the touchscreen along with the users finger location. That way the driver could use the touch screen to do complicated stuff AND keep their eyes on the road.

By BifurcatedBoat on 8/27/2012 11:29:55 PM , Rating: 3
Touch is the "new thing". We're going through that period when people say, "This is cool & useful - it's going to take over the world!" Then they attempt to put a touchscreen on everything that it's possible to put a touchscreen on.

After a while, the party settles down, and people realize that touchscreens have their uses, but they're not good for everything. Sometimes good old fashioned physical buttons and knobs really are the superior interface.

There was a time when people thought everything radioactive was cool too, because it was the new tech of the day. Toothpaste, lipstick, even chocolates. We know now that wasn't such a great idea.

By EntreHoras on 8/28/2012 12:40:20 AM , Rating: 2
You don't need to use the touch screen while you're driving. All the controls you need are on the stering wheel.
I don't know why the bashing aginst My Ford Touch. I love it!

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By Trisped on 8/28/2012 5:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
I can.
It actually is not hard at all.
The hard thing is remembering what menus you need.

Personally I think you should use the voice commands while driving anyways.

RE: Physical feedback for a start
By Moishe on 8/30/2012 4:18:45 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. Tech is cool, but there is no replacement for well-placed physical controls.

Like any system, there is often no good reason to throw out the old way completely. Better to make a hybrid using the best from the old and the new if for no other reason than to bridge the gap between generations.

I find it interesting
By Shadowself on 8/27/2012 4:15:51 PM , Rating: 3
Note that Farley didn't state "whatever resources are required to make the system usable."

Making something "more usable" is not really a commitment of any kind since the bar is already pretty low and some level of improvement is inevitable even if they spend minimal dollars on it.

Hard to use and annoying designs
By happyfirst on 8/27/2012 4:34:17 PM , Rating: 3
I am (was?) looking forward to the 2013 Ford Fusion, but when I look at it's controls, I am so frustrated and worried that that car would annoy me constantly. What is with that flat surface and the AC and stereo controls all mixed together? What happened to keeping buttons grouped together logically? Who approves these ridiculous layouts at Ford? And now only the one screen? I don't want to look at the screen and all the various stuff on it to find my ac temp setting. That should be it's own simple display next to the temp +/- buttons.

I can only imagine a Ford TV set with a flat remote control. Ford for some reason thinks we'd rather look at the remote control than what's actually on the tv?

I find it hard to believe that ford engineers actually use this stuff and do not get annoyed with it themselves. If they really don't, then IMO, it's time for new engineers that know when it's the right time to stop thinking like an engineer or more like a user. Like the saying goes in software, software developers are the worst testers.

Having 56% say MyTouch is important is irrelevant. What percentage are hating the system after they get it?

A short test drive, sure, I can picture myself saying MyTouch is cool, I want it. But then months of owning it and trying to use it a lot, that's a different story.

By Hafgrim on 8/27/2012 10:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
I love the voice commands for sync & the more feature rich touch, (basically sync on steroids).

If one argument can be made for voice commands its these two commands...

Say command: "Climate colder." (My favorite command, it makes AirCondition turn on colder, Already in touch,=) but its not in sync.=( yet. )

AND most important, Say Command: "Climate FART!" (lowers ALL windows & puts blower on MAX high for 5 seconds then raises windows again automatically with one command...)

Hope this helps, I know it would sell 1000's of these systems.


By Sivar on 8/28/2012 10:48:38 AM , Rating: 2
I bet it was an important part of the decision for the other 44% as well.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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