Ford declared this week its customers will soon benefit from a major software upgrade to MyFord Touch following a real-world beta test with about 1,000 Blue Oval employees.
The OEM explained the software upgrade is coming for 2013 models and to owners of existing MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles. Ford noted the employee beta test is part of a new, innovative approach to ensure a high-quality launch of the improved system.
The upgraded system will launch with 2013 models of the new Ford Escape, Taurus and Flex, and will be applied to existing vehicles equipped with MyFord Touch including Ford Explorer, Edge and Focus.
The company emphasized the new MyFord Touch upgrade is designed to make the system faster, simpler and easier to use.
“Employees are a great source for quick feedback, and the best part is that they are eager to help,” stated John Schneider, chief engineer for infotainment with Ford Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering.
“Employees who have been MyFord Touch users since it was first launched will test the new upgrade on employee lease vehicles so they can provide us real-world feedback, helping us polish the final product before it goes to our customers,” Schneider continued.
Ford designers and engineers want to ensure the changes are ready for customers before issuing the software into production. Employee participants should begin receiving a USB flash drive containing the software upgrade later this week. The beta test is scheduled to last approximately a month.
“Ford has been listening and learning from our customers about their ownership experiences in order to continuously improve it,” Schneider stressed.
“The new upgrade exemplifies the importance of customer feedback and showcases the flexibility and speed we now have by leveraging software to evolve Ford technology,” he added.
Ford pointed out touch screens will look new, while featuring simpler graphics and controls that are easier to use. The automaker thinks improvements make the button reaction and screen transition times feel twice as fast as the current system.
Other enhancements include better phone compatibility, support for tablet computers and Audible.com audiobooks, improved navigation maps and destination entry.
Ford also mentioned voice recognition also has been enhanced — an important fact since Blue Oval research indicates nearly 80 percent of owners use voice commands to operate their systems.
Officials explained beta-testers have been chosen at random from the Ford management lease vehicle population in southeast Michigan.
Because the upgrade strictly involves software, Ford said no vehicle hardware maintenance is required. Instead, a single USB flash drive loaded with the necessary software to complete the upgrade will be sent to testers.