Fords That Facebook,Tauruses That Tweet, SUVs That Search The Internet! Social Network going mobile just took on a whole new meaning. When you think of social networking going mobile, you think of location-based
and geolocation apps
developed for smartphones.
Now it can also refer to a new portfolio of features that are being developed for automobiles. By the year 2011
, Ford Motor
company's Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX plan on updating their SYNC technology
and introducing social networking, web browsing and iPod-style thumb controls into the majority of its future models.
A new system features thumb-wheeled controls on the steering wheel and an 8-inch touch screen monitor in the car's dashboard for audio, navigation and climate control.The MyFord technology
will allow Internet connectivity through a built-in WiFi system.
Ford Motor Co. has plans to allow what the company calls "in-car connectivity
" in its vehicles by letting you listen to your "tweets" and Internet music and news stations while behind the wheel. Using Bluetooth connectivity through a mobile phone, the user will be able to connect to the Internet using a Twitter application through developer OpenBeak
(formerly Twitterberry). They will also have access to Pandora music radio
and the online newscast service Stitcher.
There are also talks with Google about bringing some of its services to Ford’s cars and a partnership with MapQuest
has been forged.
Ford expects 80 percent of its fleet
to carry the new technology within five years. However, safety advocates concerned about driver distractions like texting and talking on cell phones might have reservations about the plethora of new data available in the front seat.Derrick Kuzak
Ford, for its part, says its system will reduce distractions, not create them. "That's the whole point of SYNC technology -- to minimize the distraction of in-car use of mobile devices you love by connecting and controlling them by voice," said Ford VP of global product development Derrick Kuzak
And who knows, it just might turn around the automotive industry. It's about time one of the top three motor companies used a little ingenuity versus waiting for the next hand-out from the government.