Ford's New SYNC integrated Touch System to Raise the Bar for Car Based Infotainment Systems

We all know that the key to selling a high value product is to be able to predict what the masses will want next. A few years back, Ford did just that by introducing the SYNC Infotainment System. Since then, they have been steadily improving it both by upgrading the system itself and adding new things to it. The latest of these additions, the MyFord Touch Driver Connect System, promises to offer even more personalization and information to the driver than ever before.

At the center of the MyFord Touch Driver Connect System is a trio of LCD screens, with the largest being an 8-inch touch panel located in the center of the car. If serves as the gateway to all of you entertainment needs, controlling the stereo and several auxiliary menus. The other two screens, both measuring 4.2 inches, are placed directly behind the steering wheel on either side of the speedometer. Both screens can be controlled by using a directional pad and selection buttons built into the steering wheel.

The left screen can be used to monitor a myriad of diagnostic information being generated by the ECU. While most will be content with leaving it set to the tachometer display, is can also serve to view temperatures and pressure, as well as get more information about trouble codes.

The screen on the right serves as a way for the driver to adjust the climate control settings, use the hands free phone system and activate the built in navigation system. The infotainment system can also be adjusted from this screen. This will allow the driver to keep both eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.

Interestingly enough, the inspiration for this system came mostly from this generation of handheld data devices and cellular phones. Jim Buczkowski, Ford's director of Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering explains, "We had to look very closely at the evolution of hand-held devices in terms of user interface, connectivity, productivity and entertainment applications,...we realized we weren't necessarily competing with other automakers, but we were really redefining how customers interacted with their cars."

The MyFord Touch Driver Connect System will make its debut on the 2010 CES and then likely expand from there.

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