For all of Ford's emphasis on Sync, it's hard to deny that Fiesta drivers usually sit on the bottom rung of the automaker's technology ladder when they're denied MyFord Touch and the related perks of larger vehicles. Pick up the keys to a higher-spec 2014 Fiesta, however, and you'll be in for a treat. The compact will stuff a 6.5-inch touchscreen and MyFord Touch into the center stack, with a few software upgrades over what we've already seen in cars like the Focus and Fusion. The highlight is undoubtedly the more direct voice command system -- the Nuance-driven recognition no longer demands that we specify music categories or radio formats to start playing tunes. Bluetooth smartphone pairing and navigation by address should be streamlined at the same time. Motorists will have to wait until 2013 to reap the rewards, but it could be worth the wait to drive away with Ford's better electronics in an affordable ride.
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New 2014 Ford Fiesta Adds MyFord Touch with Improved Voice Recognition, Navigation and Phone Pairing
2014 Ford Fiesta comes to market with one of the most comprehensive suite of in-car connectivity technology features available in a small car: SYNC® with MyFord Touch® featuring a new 6.5-inch LCD touch screen
The technology is driving up purchase consideration and appeal of Ford products, proven by internal data showing new vehicles ordered with MyFord Touch exceed expectations
Ford, working with Microsoft, continues to improve MyFord Touch with new capabilities and features including more natural and accurate voice recognition, simpler Bluetooth® phone pairing and better navigation controls
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 26, 2012 – The latest trend in consumer electronics is the miniaturization of the gadgets we love, while packing them with even more performance such as a razor-thin phone that doesn't bulge in a pocket, smaller tablets that can be held with one hand, or music players that can be worn on the wrist. Ford is following suit, and beginning next year it will offer MyFord Touch® with a new 6.5-inch LCD touch screen available on the 2014 Ford Fiesta.
"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."
The migration of this technology comes right as Ford hits the five-year anniversary of its award-winning SYNC® in-vehicle connectivity system that was co-developed with Microsoft; more than 5 million cars and trucks have been sold with the system. Ford first launched SYNC on the 2008 Focus, then its smallest and most affordable car. Now, unveiling MyFord Touch for Fiesta cements Ford's commitment to making technology affordable and accessible to everyone.
"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."
Besides the new MyFord Touch 6.5-inch color touch screen, which is an upgrade over the currently available 4-inch screen, the 2014 Fiesta will launch with the latest SYNC software that adds new features including:
Simplified Bluetooth® phone pairing: When pairing, the driver simply has to hit "OK" if the PIN on the phone and touch screen match each other
More natural voice recognition: Drivers can now simply say "Play " when requesting a specific artist, song, album or genre of music (i.e. "Play jazz" versus "Play genre jazz")
Improved voice recognition accuracy: The latest version of Nuance's speech software, VoCon® 3200 v4.2, improves overall voice recognition performance
Flattened audio command structure: At any time, drivers can say the station frequency, "AM 760," or the official name of the Sirius station, like "Hits 1," to tune in; drivers no longer need to say "Radio" or "Sirius" to indicate their desire to listen to those audio sources
Simplified navigation controls: The destination entry screen has been improved to help make it easier to enter an address
With MyFord Touch powered by Microsoft, Fiesta drivers will be able to stay connected to their lives, easily getting the information and entertainment they want while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.