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Ford Unveils Futuristic In-Car Experience Powered by Android

Ford has engineered a versatile 3-in-1 digital experience

By Saeed Ashif AhmedPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
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In a groundbreaking move, Ford, the iconic American automaker, has unveiled a revolutionary digital driving experience for its Ford and Lincoln brands. This new venture sees the fusion of the infotainment system and the instrument cluster into a single computing module. The power behind this innovation? Android and Google. But that’s not all - it also supports Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa.

Ford’s new Android-powered interface promises a user-centric experience, faster updates, and a plethora of third-party apps and games - all accessible when parked. My hands-on experience with the system felt more akin to commanding the USS Enterprise than driving a family car.

A 3-in-1 Digital Experience

Ford’s new digital platform is a 3-in-1 experience. The primary system is Android-based, formerly known as “Android Automotive,” now referred to as “Google built-in.” Ford has brought much of the development in-house to optimize the experience on the central console and the impressive 48-inch panoramic display. This Android-based platform allows you to download and update individual apps through the Play Store directly from your car’s console - a significant improvement from infotainment systems that require a full update to fix bugs in a single app.

Image courtesy: lincoln.com

For those who prefer using their phones, Ford’s new digital experience supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, offering a wide range of operating system choices. It also supports three different voice assistants - Google Assistant (the default), Apple’s Siri, or Amazon’s Alexa. The latter can even control some in-car functions, like setting the in-car temperature.

Voice-First Experience

Ford is championing a voice-first approach for its digital driving experience, a strategic move aimed at enhancing user convenience. The rationale? It's far simpler to issue commands vocally or activate the assistant with a mere press of a button on the steering wheel than to navigate through screens and buttons.

This voice-first experience isn't limited to a single platform. It's an inclusive design that supports Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and Amazon Alexa, thereby catering to a broad spectrum of users. This approach underscores Ford's commitment to seamless integration and user-friendly design in its digital driving experience.

The Star of the Show: The Panoramic Display

Image courtesy: lincoln.com

The real showstopper is the new panoramic display. This 48-inch 4K display with 1,000 nits of brightness organizes your information into three simple zones: Ford’s Essentials, the Supporting Information, and the things you need at a glance.

The Essentials, located on the left behind the steering wheel, display the usual car dashboard metrics: your remaining range, your speed, the in-car temperature, and other basics. The Supporting Information in the middle is primarily your navigation panel, whether it’s Google Maps or Apple Maps. At the far right, you’ll find customizable widgets for everything you might need at a glance, including music, weather forecasts, and more.

Partnerships and Future Plans

Ford’s new digital experience heavily relies on the Google Play Store. Ford has established partnerships with various apps, like Asphalt Nitro and certain video conferencing apps. Ford is actively working with different developers to fine-tune their apps for the connected driving experience.

In my hands-on demonstration of Ford's latest digital driving experience, the system performed flawlessly. The interface was intuitive, allowing for effortless addition or removal of widgets from the panoramic display. The roster of supported applications is set to expand, with high-profile platforms such as Prime Video, YouTube, the Vivaldi browser, and even Chrome soon to be integrated.

Ford’s new experience will debut in the all-new Lincoln Nautilus in 2024, followed by other Ford and Lincoln models. A monthly fee for the Ford or Lincoln Premium Connectivity plan will be required, which provides your car with the 5G access it needs to run all this functionality.

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About the Creator

Saeed Ashif Ahmed

Editor at Droidfeats, passionate about emerging tech. A car enthusiast with a civil engineering background, cricket lover, and JNV alumnus.

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  • Test3 months ago

    This article is fantastic—I appreciate its well-crafted and informative nature.

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