Ford hasn’t had the best of luck implementing infotainment systems in its automotive lineup. Specifically, the automaker’s MyFord Touch continues to hurt the company’s customer satisfaction ratings due to the complexity of the system and the difficult-to-use nature of the design while driving.
In October, Consumer Reports Reliability Survey Ford ranked 27 out of 28 with much of the blame for the significant drop in rank attributed to the MyFord Touch system.
Ford has now announced that the 2014 Fiesta will get an improved MyFord Touch system. Improvements in the system will bring more natural voice recognition, better navigation, improved Bluetooth pairing, and a 6.5” touchscreen according to Ford (the display used in current Fiesta vehicles equipped with MyFord Touch measures 4”).
“Technology features are important to all of our customers including small car buyers, and MyFord Touch continues to drive up purchase consideration of our vehicles,” says Michelle Moody, Ford cross-vehicle marketing manager. “MyFord Touch is appealing to customers, as it consistently ranks among the top 10 purchase considerations with new owners. We’re excited to bring it to the small car segment, where it will really help Fiesta stand out from the crowd.”
Some of the improved voice commands for the Sync system include better natural voice-recognition allowing drivers to simply say “Play Jazz” rather than “Play genre jazz” as was required in the past. Overall voice-recognition performance is improved by upgrading the system to the latest version of nuances speech software called VoCon 3200.
2014 Ford Fiesta
Voice commands have also been flattened to remove some words required to control the audio system. Drivers will be able to tune into station such as Sirius Hits 1 by saying “Hits 1” rather than having to say “Sirius” then “Hits 1”. The navigation system has also been improved to make it easier to enter addresses among other things.
“We are seeing strong brand lift from MyFord Touch amongst in-market shoppers, with 65 percent of those intending to purchase a vehicle reporting SYNC definitely plays a role in their purchase consideration,” says Moody. “Take rates for MyFord Touch on new vehicle orders, such as the 2013 Escape and Fusion, continue to outpace our internal projections. We expect the same trend for Fiesta.”
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