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Ford installs sync software via Wi-Fi

First automaker to install infotainment software wirelessly?

by on Aug.26, 2010

The 2011 Ford Edge will use Wi-Fi technology to wirelessly download Sync software.

It’s becoming a wireless world, so why not the vehicle assembly line as well.

Ford says it is the first automaker to use Wi-Fi to send software to vehicles along an assembly line. The automaker is sending infotainment software to Wi-Fi-enabled MYFord Touch-equipped vehicles.

Ford installed the Wi-Fi equipment at its Oakville, Ontario, plant where it builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, both of which were refreshed for 2011. Next up for Wi-Fi updates will be the upcoming Ford Explorer, built in Chicago, and then plants that build the Focus around the world.

Wi-Fi capability eliminates the need for building, stocking multiple SYNC hardware modules, thus reducing manufacturing complexity and saving cost.

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“Using wireless software installation via Wi-Fi, we can stock just one type of SYNC module powering MyFord Touch and loaded with a basic software package,” explained Sukhwinder Wadhwa, SYNC global platform manager. “We eliminate around 90 unique part numbers, each of which would have to be updated every time a change is made – this system really boosts quality control.”

But turning a factory into a Wi-Fi hot spot was not easy.
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First Drive: 2011 Ford Edge

Refreshed crossover features updated engine lineup and infotainment options.

by on Aug.23, 2010

The 2011 Ford Edge Sport features 22-inch forged aluminum rims.

Just looking at the skin of the refreshed 2011 Ford Edge hardly scratches the surface of what’s new here.

Within the year, there will be three engine choices instead of just one. Two will have more power and all will have better fuel economy. On top of that is MyFord Touch, a huge upgrade on Ford’s Sync infotainment and communication system.

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The power increases from the 3.5- and 3.7-liter V6s were obvious with a push of the right foot. And while the upgraded infotainment systems are a huge step forward, there’s still some work to do to make them more user friendly.

While some aspects of the infotainment system still has a few bugs, the completely reworked interior it resides in is more stylish and more high-tech.

Ford showed the updated Edge to journalists last week at an in-depth preview in Nashville. After listening to presentations on everything that is new with the Edge, we spent time on some beautiful twisting roads where we found the Edge, and especially the Edge Sport, to have a noticeable bump in power.
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Ford Announces Pricing for Upgraded 2011 Ford Edge and Edge Sport

A challenging year ahead for the top-selling CUV.

by on Jul.14, 2010

Ford's 2011 Edge Sport gets a more distinctive look for the coming model-year.

Ford today announced complete pricing for its improved and upgraded 2011 Ford Edge.  For openers, the pricing of the base SE and SEL models is down $200 versus current 2010 pricing.

The SE front-wheel-drive version will start at $27,995. The SEL FWD
version will start at $30,995.  The Limited FWD, the single most popular model of the Edge, will start at $34,995

The completely revised Edge Sport FWD will start at $36,995. Pricing of the Limited includes following new equipment: Sony audio with HD radio, MyFord Touch, rear view camera, 10-way power driver’s seat in lieu of 6-way, capless easy fuel, MyKey, select shift and 285-horsepower 3.5L Ti-VCT engine, now 20 horsepower stronger, with EPA ratings of 19 mpg city, 27 highway.

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Pricing of the Sport includes an array of new features, such as a 22-inch wheels, Sony audio with HD radio, MyFord Touch, rear view camera, 10-way power heated drivers seat in lieu of 6-way, heated memory seats and mirrors, 6-way power passenger seat, the 304-horsepower 3.7L Ti-VCT engine borrowed from the Mustang, and select shift with paddle shifters.

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Elaine Bannon: A Woman On The Leading Edge

Revealing secrets at Ford.

by on Jul.06, 2010

As chief engineer on the Ford Edge, Elaine Bannon is hoping for another hit.

Elaine Bannon has a secret she’d rather not keep.

Bannon is a glamorous 48-year-old mechanical engineer and MBA whose job it is to produce winners for Ford Motor Company, including the Ford Edge, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKT – in fact, all of Ford’s crossover utilities.

One of the industry’s best-kept secrets is that Edge is the best-selling vehicle in its market segment, and has been almost from the minute it was introduced in 2006 as a 2007 model.

As chief engineer for these four vehicles, Bannon brings to the job her vast experience in body engineering, body design, chassis engineering, heavy-duty commercial vehicles, plastics and manufacturing, among other things, in a 25-year career.

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Bannon has been in charge of the award-winning (J.D. Power IQS and APEAL awards) Edge program since its inception in 2005, and she says that, increasingly, Ford is leaving its senior managers in place because of their accumulated experience and relationships to the other senior team members.

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