Report: Ford to Replace Microsoft with Blackberry’s QNX in Sync, MyFord Touch Interface
February 22, 2014 3:59 PM
comment(s) - last by
QNX to replace Microsoft's problematic software, and it will also be cheaper
It appears that Ford is finally wising up and is looking to replace the Microsoft technology that currently powers MyFord Touch with
Blackberry’s QNX operating system
, according to
The Detroit News
Blackberry OS 10 is pretty much dead in the water
on the smartphone front, Blackberry’s QNX subsidiary is doing quite well.
QNX has over 50 percent market share in the automotive world
when it comes to proprietary operating systems and its automotive customers include:
According to a person familiar with Ford’s plans, its MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles (including existing models) could “easily” be upgraded to use QNX instead of the current, underlying Microsoft technology. As an added bonus, QNX is cheaper to license than Microsoft's software.
MyFord Touch on the Ford Explorer
To say that MyFord Touch — an infotainment system available on many of Ford and Lincoln’s recently redesigned automobiles — is problematic would be putting it mildly. The voice- and touch screen-based system allows users to access many vehicle functions including entertainment, navigation, and climate control.
MyFord Touch (and by association,
), which uses
Windows Embedded Automotive 7
at its core, has been plagued with problems since its introduction. Drivers have experienced frozen screens, system reboots while the vehicle is in motion, and poorly responsive haptic controls. Ford has
rolled out numerous updates
to address these issues, and has even taken steps to
bring back physical buttons and knobs
on some models to appease customers.
Knobs are making a comeback in MyFord Touch vehicles as seen in this 2015 Mustang with MyFord Touch.
The problems have gotten so bad that Ford has been blasted not only by
, but it has also
taken a dive in J.D. Power reliability rankings
due to MyFord Touch.
A Ford spokesman did not deny the reports to
The Detroit News
, and was diplomatic by stating, “Ford works with a variety of partners and suppliers to develop and continuously improve our in-car connectivity systems for customers. We do not discuss details of our work with others for competitive reasons. We are absolutely committed to leading and innovating the smart technologies and in-vehicle connectivity that our customers want and value.”
Ford CEO Alan Mulally delivered the one millionth vehicle equipped with Ford Sync to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in 2009. There have now been over 10 million vehicles with Sync/MyFord Touch sold worldwide.
Ford and Microsoft made a big deal about their
partnership with Sync and MyFord Touch
. Over the course of the relationship, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and current Ford CEO Alan Mulally became close friends. In fact, the closeness of the two companies and the two CEOs shot Mulally to the
top of the list for Microsoft’s CEO position
when it was announced that Ballmer would enter into “
The Detroit News
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entirely WRONG approach
2/22/2014 6:01:45 PM
Graphic interfaces, by DEFINITION, require the eyes for eye-hand interaction.
In an automobile, eyes should be on the road, not a screen.
The automobile, at least until the driving task is roboticized, demands a haptic kinesthetic interface, learned spatially through muscle memory. Fixed function controls, no modality. The temperature knob is the temperature knob, not sometimes the volume and sometimes the menu selector.
Knobs and buttons that show their state by touch via their positions.
RE: entirely WRONG approach
2/22/2014 9:25:47 PM
Which is why systems such as Ford Sync provide voice-operation and audible feedback control of bluetooth, HVAC, Nav and audio. Ford also urges folks to use voice controls rather than looking at an poking at the 8" LCD screen. As well they lock out many LCD functions while the car is not in 'park'.
The only real problem here is that the voice interface used by Ford sucks monkey turds. If you do not know the exact command structure to use with this car, it will bing and bong at you rather than do what it wants. THIS I lay at the feet of Microsoft who designed this voice system.
I am sure QNX can come up with something a LOT better because in this Microsoft has failed miserably.
(Oh, I am a 2013 Ford Focus owner that has the top version of Sync + MyFord Touch installed).
RE: entirely WRONG approach
2/22/2014 10:47:40 PM
I don't mind the voice interface, once you learn the cadence you can do pretty much anything in 3-4 words like: Phone > Call > Person.
I do hate the GPS/NAVI however, totally freaking useless because it just can't process the names of locations/POIs without completely butchering them. I told my wife it was a total waste of $800, especially since I have Waze and Google Maps on my S4, but she insisted on it.
I also can't stand the touchscreen. Incredibly slow, it is just subpar given the responsiveness we have come to expect from smartphones and tablets, or even the standalone GPS devices these in-dash units replaced. For those unfamiliar with Ford MyTouch, think Bank ATM touch screen, but slower.
Last gripe is how many touches it takes to switch the connected Bluetooth phone. Should really be 1 touch, 2 max, but instead it is at least 3-4 with a hidden confirm button AFTER you select the new phone. Really annoying.
Anyways, love my 2014 Fusion Hybrid otherwise, but I really wish they upgraded the in-dash infotainment system to something like what Nvidia is promoting with Tegra.
“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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