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Ford’s MyTouch Takes Fire From Consumer Reports

“Overly complicated and distracting,” magazine pulls recommendation from two Ford models.

by on Jan.04, 2011

Consumer Reports berates the MyFordTouch system as "overly complicated."

It has frequently been hailed as one of the most significant new technologies to show up inside an automobile, but Ford Motor Co.’s new touch-screen MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch systems are taking fire from the influential Consumer Reports magazine.

The non-profit publication – which has given kudos to Ford’s steady increase in quality – has declared the two touch-screen systems “overly complicated and distracting.”  In turn, Consumer Reports has decided not to give a much-coveted recommendation to two new Ford products, the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers using the MyTouch technology.

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The Ford MyTouch technology is designed to control a wide range of infotainment systems, from onboard route guidance to handsfree phoning.  Ford has billed the system as an easy-to-use alternative, ironically, to some of the more complex controller-based infotainment systems, such as the BMW iDrive.

Ford’s system actually offers three different ways to control in-vehicle electronics, which the maker claims permits a motorist to use whichever they find the simplest and easiest: a large touch screen at the top of the center console, a pair of five-way controllers on the steering wheel – or voice-activated controls.


Drivers More Distracted and at a Much Higher Risk Than They Realize

A new study from the National Safety Council says you overestimate your skills. Cell phones should be banned.

by on Apr.28, 2009

Despite clear evidence of the dangers of using cell phones will driving, national safety regulators are not doing anything.

Despite clear evidence of the dangers of using cell phones will driving, national safety regulators are not doing anything.

The National Safety Council has just cited a study published in the Journal of Safety Research that says drivers overestimate their skills and underestimate distractions caused by other activities while they drive. Particularly dangerous is the widespread use of cell phones.

In January the NSC urged a total ban on that activity, based on scientific estimates that cell phone use while driving contributes to 6% of crashes, or 636,000 wrecks, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries, and 2,600 deaths each year. NSC estimates the annual financial toll of cell phone-related crashes at $43 billion.

“Our nation has reached a point where we estimate more than 100 million people are engaging in this dangerous behavior daily,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president. Froetscher added that the issue is not the type of phone a driver uses, rather it is the distraction caused by the conversation. 

“Hands-free devices do not make cell phones any safer. Several studies indicate that the principle risk is the cognitive distraction. Studies also show that driving while talking on a cell phone is extremely dangerous and puts drivers at a four-times greater crash risk,” she said.  (more…)