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Discussion Starter #1
This video is interesting, as it provides information that is 100% contradictory to what my local dealer is telling me.

As I indicated in the thread I started, I stopped by the dealer today and they had a Sync specialist there. I specifically wanted to know about traffic and POI with the Nav option in the new Focus with MFT.

He said that you have to choose whether to use MFT or use Sync Systems to get the info, and that, for example, a POI that would not come up in the Nav, might come up if you called in with Sync Systems.

He also told me that the traffic information for the Nav ONLY comes from Sirius via subscription and is not getting any information through a paired phone from Sync, Inrix XD, etc.

However, I just stumbled across this video which seems to indicate that the mobile phone and Sync services are in fact connected to the Nav and that traffic, etc, data is getting sucked in through the users mobile phone connection.


I wish I could get a clear answer on this. I am pretty much ready to pull the trigger on this car, but I really need to decide of the Navigation is worth it.
[bigcry]
 

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this guy sounds like a sleazy salesman. Similar to car salesmen, they often know very little.

I don't see that much discrepancy between what you were told and what this guy says.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
this guy sounds like a sleazy salesman. Similar to car salesmen, they often know very little.

I don't see that much discrepancy between what you were told and what this guy says.
This guy says traffic data comes from your phone over a BT link and also that the navigation is able to tie in to Sync Systems for data.

The salesperson told me that the two systems are separate (navigation and sync) and that the only source of traffic data on the navigation MFT systems is Sirius.

For anyone who has not experienced Sirius traffic "alerts", well, they suck, and they cost you $10 a month and only then if you are already paying for Sirius programming at another $20 a month.

I usually listen to Pandora in the car nowadays (or HD radio) so Sirius is of little value to me.... however I do need timely traffic info on my route, and would prefer not to have to keep using my iPhone to get it.
 

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From the Syncmyride website:A smart way to drive
If your vehicle is equipped with the optional Navigation System and the SD navigation card is installed, SYNC® with MyFord Touch™/MyLincoln Touch™ accesses data on traffic and speed limits to generate three possible routes for you to select from when setting a destination: fastest, shortest, and most fuel efficient. This last choice is called the Eco Route.1
The Eco Route allows you to avoid congested freeways while making use of major roads where you can maintain an efficient speed.


It sounds like the when calculating the ecoroute - it uses data from sync. As far as going to lookup traffic conditions - I guess that is when you have to use Sirius. I am researching myself because I have this feature and want to know how to know what traffic conditions are.

i will update when I have a real world example :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Definitely would love to hear what you find out. I am surprised at all of the conflicting data.

I want to not only know traffic conditions, I want to be re-routed in the event that there is suddenly a wreck on my designated route.

TomTom has a new HD traffic service that uses the mobile phones running TomTom as probes to generate raw data on real time traffic conditions and it does historical trending (worst times of day for certain roads, etc).

It actually updates every 2 minutes and is far, far fresher and more relevant than the traffic systems I have typically found bundled into vehicles at obnoxious prices.
 

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Do yourself a favor and skip the MFT/NAV package altogether. The NAV data is out of date (at least in the Seattle area) and I get better information using my Garmin.

Of course my car has been in the shop more than at my home because of the MFT system crashing and locking up, so I am a little biased and would not reccomend it to anybody at this point.
 

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I beg to differ. I think the nav system is very nice and superior to anything I've ever experienced. POI information seems very up to date as well. It's so cool to be able to speak a restaurant or store name and have it find the nearest to you.
 

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I beg to differ. I think the nav system is very nice and superior to anything I've ever experienced. POI information seems very up to date as well. It's so cool to be able to speak a restaurant or store name and have it find the nearest to you.


You can beg all you want. It is not going to change the fact the the MFT is a blackmark on the scorecard, and an expensive one at that. FWIW, I am glad you have a system that is working as you expected. Unfortunately I am not. My car has been in the shop more than it has been in my garage.

As the owner of a Gen 1 product that works flawlessly and a Gen 2 product which does not. The below article notes some of the "highlights" of this piece of garbage.



http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=21495

Quoted important parts below:


III. Controls and Sync Gen 2.0

i. Voice Control? What Voice Control?

(See the update at the end of this piece for an important clarification.)

I'll try to be brief on what I feel is the Ford Focus's greatest weakness/frustration, MyFord Touch (also known as Ford Sync Gen 2.0).

I think that a lot of what has been reported about the system by other news agencies (Consumer Reports) is somewhat misleading. Many have argued that the system is overly complex. From a touch perspective I respectfully disagree -- the system is relatively intuitive, and everything is a couple clicks away at most.

So what's wrong with Sync Gen 2.0, then? At the heart of the problem is a noticeably deteriorated voice recognition system. "Deteriorated?" you ask. Indeed, the voice recognition is noticeably worse than in the first generation.

The system failed to recognize approximately 40-50 percent of the voice commands that I gave it, in cases when I was giving it exactly the correct command. I would estimate the failure rate for Sync Gen 1.0 to be closer to 10-20 percent, hence how noticeable this was.

It had an especially hard time dealing with short words. For example requesting 88.3 (a radio station) took about five or six tries. Requesting that my synced Bluetooth handset "call mom" simply did not work -- I tried about ten times. I was only able to get it to call the number by manually punching it in the touch screen, at which point the voice command system announced "calling mom". I called other people using the "call ___" command so it was clearly the voice recognition system that was flawed.

Along with the voice recognition came frustrating slowdown issues. A busy signal became an all too familiar site when it was struggling to translate my voice commands. Sometimes the system seemed to just crash, giving some sort of error about a command failing and no voice cue (the standard cue is to ask "Did you say, "____"?").

To me this slowdown was somewhat baffling. After all, the Sync Gen 2.0 is equipped with a 600 MHz ARM processor that's 50 percent faster than the Gen 1.0's processor. And the system has a 2D/3D graphics accelerator to handle the onscreen images, and is equipped with 512 MB of RAM. In other words, the hardware seems sound.

ii. Our Ford Source Spills the Beans on What Went Wrong

Trying to get to the bottom of from whence the slowdown and voice control issues came, I spoke with one of my sources on the Sync team. They said that the issues with the system were well known in the group and to bear in mind that the system I received was several updates since the original release so was actually significantly improved.

They told me that at the root of the problem was that Ford decided to largely scrap their own codebase and hire BSQUARE Corp (BSQR) to recode the next generation of Sync. The move seemingly made sense. Ford already had a close partnership with Microsoft Corp. and BSQUARE was a company founded by ex-Microsoft employees with close ties to their former employer.

But the results Ford received were poor. Our source described BSQUARE's coding process as "Guy A sitting in room 1 writing code and guy B sitting in room 2 also writing code, with neither knowing what the other is doing."

Our source said that at the end of the day the resulting app was bloated and inefficient.

"Who would you say is to blame?" I asked. They replied, "I'd say 70 percent BSQUARE, but 30 percent Ford for choosing BSQUARE."

So that's the dirty little secret behind MyFord Touch and its issues.

Oh, and according to my source the recent rebooting problems (which I fortunately did not experience) were not nearly as "rare" as Ford's spokesperson described them as. They said that the recent update did significantly decrease the rate of reboots, but that it still was occurring.

They also complained that because the updates could only be installed at the dealership, many people were still driving on the road with older versions (and would hence get more reboots). They argued that it would have been wise to incorporate a 3G modem for over the air updates -- something Ford discussed, but decided was too expensive at present.

They did point out that the reboot issue wasn't entirely new -- Ford Sync Gen 1.0 in earlier versions also sometimes rebooted. But rather than going black, the screen would simply throw up a message about that it was "re-indexing" files/assets.

iii. Final Thoughts on Sync Including a Bit of Good

So that's not my only gripes about Sync. Aside from the underlying slowdown/voice recognition issues, I was also frustrated by certain commands that were seemingly missing. For example you had to hard press the phone button (on the steering wheel) to hang up calls -- there was no voice command to do that (though there were commands to make a call, pause a call, join a call, etc.). Also there was no way I could find to individually separately tweak the passenger and driver cabin temperatures using voice commands.

Other commands struck me as irritating such as "make it hotter" to increase the temperature. Why the system could not just be designed to respond to "increase temperature" or "temperature up" for the life of me I don't know.

A final (negative) point to make is that while you could certainly use the steering button controls or touch screen to access most of the missing/problematic voice commands, doing so while driving is very unsafe. In my experience the distraction of doing so eclipses that of making a call on a handset. It's approximately as distracting as surfing the internet on a smartphone or texting while driving.

Ford's voice recognition system was designed to cut down on taking the driver’s hands and eyes off the road. However, the voice recognition is so bad that it fails at this mission.

There were a few aspects of Sync Gen 2.0 I liked. When stopped, I found the new touch interface to be attractive, intuitive, and simple. Also commands to play music actually seemed to be the one area where voice recognition had remained constant in quality or perhaps improved slightly. And while the climate controlled had some frustrations (missing/frustratingly worded commands and voice recognition issues), I liked the overall ability to control the cabin climate by voice.

I also liked that the Ford Focus included the "European" style physical audio and climate control panel as a backup to the touch screen. Once I familiarized myself with it, I regularly circumvented Sync and safely adjusted the radio and cabin climate (e.g. temperature and fan speed) by turning the traditional panel's knobs and pressing its buttons. Compared to the frustrations/dangers of using the touch screen or voice driven climate control while driving, I came to develop a health appreciation of classic tactile controls.

Ford should definitely include a backup audio and climate controls set like it did with Focus for any model that comes with Sync Gen 2.0. This was a terrific decision and mitigates the damage from the sloppy Sync Gen 2.0.

To summarize, when Sync Gen 2.0 worked, I really liked it. But when it failed it drove me crazy. Based on the perspective I gained from my discussion with one of my Sync Team sources it seems Ford has some internal issues that are derailing the quality of the project. It seems like Ford sold the horse (voice control) to save the farm (add a pretty touch interface) and at the end of the day the results aren't pretty.

That said, from what I've heard there's been significant progress from the updates to the system. So there's still hope that Ford can "fix" the broken core code that BSQUARE delivered to the Sync team for integration.

Until then, I would expect the pickup rate to remain low. According to a dealership source, the current pickup rate was internally stated to be around 20 percent. That's much lower than Sync Gen 1.0. You can get Sync Gen 1.0 in the Focus, according to my source.

Refer to my comments on Sync Gen 1.0 to make your impressions on that. But to offer you a brief summary, I love Gen 1.0 and thought it offers a truly unprecedented experience.

Overall: C-

 

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Sorry to hear yours isn't working correctly. I truly hope you get it squared away. No one deserves to have so many issues with a new car. :\

I hope mine continues to work... I've only had one small hiccup. I can't wait for the next update to come out to fix the major bugs.
 

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Definitely would love to hear what you find out. I am surprised at all of the conflicting data.
I did a little testing on my way home. I cannot say for sure of Nav uses Sync to calculate the eco-route. But I do know if I use the voice command "traffic" it access Sirius traffic. However, I can use Sync services and then give the command traffic and it will tell me the traffic using Sync. I can also setup Traffic alerts via Sync.
I doubt I can ask for traffic for any current destination programmed in my Nav. I think I would have to connect to Sync and ask for traffic to that address. So I don't think it is fully integrated. Where it may use Sync data when first calculating the route - but I am not convinced that is happening either as it does not make any calls with my phone.
 
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