Tag Archives | Car Electronics

Have You Been Entertained and Informed by a Ford Lately? Should You Be?

Earlier today, I lounged in the passenger seat while a Ford employee sat behind the wheel and showed me MyFord Touch–the upcoming radically upgraded version of the digital entertainment/information platform that the company began offering a couple of years ago as Ford Sync. The new version has a speedometer that’s flanked by two LCDs, and a jumbo color touchscreen, and it lets you do a gazillion things–from listening to music to getting directions to adjusting mood lighting in the car to turning your auto into a mobile hotspot. I loved it. And the chances of the Ford rep getting distracted and causing an accident were…well, nil, because we were sitting in a fake car interior inside a conference room in the Las Vegas Convention Center here at CES.

I’m impressed by MyFord Touch, which will start to appear in cars later this year–price TBA–and which Ford plans to roll out to eighty percent of its line within five years. It–and/or stuff like it–will be a factor the next time I plunk down money for an automobile. But this New York Times story reports on concerns that the new generation of Internet-connected car computing systems simply demands too much attention from drivers. One of the naysayers is U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who’s presumably in a position to do something about them if he so chooses.

Your opinion, please.


Internet Radio in Your Car

miroamer-logoFor me, the Consumer Electronics Show’s expansive hall of car electronics is usually by far the show’s least interesting quarters–it’s dominated by loudspeakers, in-car DVD players, and other pretty prosaic stuff. But I’m intrigued by Torian Wireless‘s partnership with Blaupunkt to create what Torian says is the world’s first Internet car radio.


The radio piggybacks on your 3G phone’s Internet connection via Bluetooth and provides access to both Internet stations chosen by Torian for the MiRoamer service and ones you add yourself, if you choose; it also serves as a hands-free calling system. It’s due for release in the second half of this year; the price will be in the $300-$400 range.

I’d want to take the radio for a test spin before forming any firm conclusions about it, and am particularly curious about how seamless the phone-radio connection is. (Me, I leave Bluetooth turned off except when I’m using it; I’d have to remember to switch it back on to make the MiRoamer work.)

Side note: The MiRoamer booth had a large display playing a promotion presentation in a continuous loop. I was confused why it seemed to keep claiming that the radio offered “surpassed sound quality” until I figured out that the video was getting cut off at the edges…

Surpassed Audio Quality