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Driving Techonology Ford-ward

My favorite part of the experience was when the Ford rep Ken, showed off the voice commands. “I’m hungry”, Ken said seemingly to no one. “Looking up restaurants” the car pleasantly replied, and then gave a listing of restaurants in the area offering cuisine type and other basic information. Once you choose your dining destination the car then provides you with directions.  The only thing missing was that there were no reviews—yet. Ken thought that it was something that could certainly be a possibility, and would have obvious value to the consumer. Given my experience with voice commands, I was surprised that it was functional at all.  Ken even told me he preferred using the voice commands over the buttons, but given that the car can understand nearly 10,000 commands, I could see why. In terms of entertainment there are a lot of options. You could rock out to your favorite band on your iPod, get a case of musical ADD and decide you hate your iPod, and then start streaming Pandora or switch to the radio all with barely moving your eyes from the road. You can also set a particular artist or song as your favorite and the car will let you know when the artist or song is playing on another station. You can even hook a Playstation up to the small, but crystal clear touch screen. The good news for other drivers on the road? That feature can only be used when the car is in park. The fully upgradable system is available on the US marketed 2011 Edge, Explorer, and the 2012 Focus and costs about $1,000 (it’s so af-Ford-able!) and comes standard on limited edition models. Dealers have found that demonstrating the technology to shoppers they are three times more likely to purchase a Ford. My only regret about the demonstration is that I didn’t get to drive one. Author Biography Catherine Tomezsko is the General Manager of The Harbus.  She can be found on twitter @CTomezsko

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