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New Hyundai Blue Link Will Entertain, Inform – And Keep Teen Drivers In Line

System will even alert you if there’s a recall.

by on Jan.05, 2011

As with some competitors, you'll be able to activate many Hyundai Blue Link features using buttons on the rearview mirror.

Forget horsepower, cupholders or even seat heaters.  These days, the real battle of the brands is focused on which automaker offers the most advanced infotainment system, and there’ll be plenty of new in-car technologies on display, this week, at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas.

That includes Blue Link, an all-new telematics system developed by Hyundai, which the automaker plans to put up against the well-established General Motors OnStar, as well as Ford’s increasingly popular Sync system.

The Hyundai Blue Link platform will offer a variety of “traditional” features, such as hands-free calling and voice-controlled route guidance.  But it will also introduce a number of new services, such as its “Eco-Coach,” which is designed to help a motorist drive more fuel-efficiently, and “geofence,” which alerts a vehicle’s owner if someone – read “a teenager” – travels beyond a pre-set boundary or drives after set hours.

Blue Link will even flash a warning if the owner’s vehicle is subject to a recall.

“We’ve carefully studied how drivers rely on smart phones and navigation systems as an innovative link to the outside world. Blue Link brings that seamless connectivity directly into the car,” explains Barry Ratzlaff, director of customer satisfaction and service business development, Hyundai Motor America.


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.