The Right Mix of In-Vehicle Technology


The right blend of safety, convenience, and infotainment can make any car in any class the right fit for drivers today. Evidence shows that the right combination of such technology can make a vehicle among the most connected in its class.

However, it can become difficult for drivers to choose the right vehicle to suit their needs. With new connected models hitting the showroom floor of nearly every dealer across the country these days, it can be tricky to make the right decision. 

Ford shared data regarding a recent software upgrade, which has been delivered to more than 370,000 U.S. customers. Based on the responses, the automaker says it is seeing significant improvement in customer satisfaction and willingness to recommend the technology.

According to Ford, owner feedback from customer clinics reveals that MyFord Touch was a key purchase reason for customers, with 56% saying the technology was an important part of their buying decision.  Additionally, an internal survey of MyFord and MyLincoln Touch owners reveals that those who installed the upgrade are experiencing an increase in satisfaction by about 25 percentage points, and 71% of owners with the upgrade say they would recommend MyFord Touch to their friends.

But there are also new in-vehicle systems coming to market as well. The latest comes from Lexus, which debuts its 2013 Lexus ES with an emphasis on the in-vehicle technology. The automaker, building on the theme of safety, convenience, and infotainment, has blended various technologies in order to help create an automated experience for the driver.

The vehicle features a voice-enabled Remote Touch interface. The second generation of this technology lets drivers navigate in-vehicle features like audio in a hands-free manner. The car’s blind-spot monitor rear-cross traffic alert system is a nice safety feature that detects oncoming traffic when the vehicle is in reverse.

Lexus looks to compete in the infotainment area with its Lexus Enform system that enables the driver to connect to in-vehicle entertainment using compatible smartphones. This connection includes apps that provide options for drivers, such as restaurant reviews, movie tickets, and music, among others.  Over-the-air updates ensure the apps are always current.

The Lexus Enform system is offered on various models, and features a range of safety notifications for the driver. One of note is an automatic-collision notification. Should a vehicle's airbags deploy or a severe rear-end collision be detected, the driver will be automatically be connected to a response center agent. From there a safety agent from Lexus will proceed to notify local emergency services of the situation and direct them to the vehicle's location.

Does the 2013 Lexus ES offer the best blend of technology on the block? That will ultimately be up to the consumers walking into showrooms across the country. However, the truth of the matter is that today’s drivers have more and more options at their disposal than ever before. The trick, however, will be choosing the right model that fits the lifestyle needs of the driver.  

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Connected World Issue
June/July 2014
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