The Upgradable Car: Ford Sends Software Updates to 300,000 Drivers

The Upgradable Car: Ford Sends Software Updates to 300,000 Drivers

Late last year, when Ford announced the second version of its MyFord Touch interface, the company also announced that it would allow all current owners of cars with this system to update to the new version. In the world of auto tech, where development cycles can often last years and major software updates are virtually unheard of, this announcement raised quite a few eyebrows. When Ford first made the announcement, though, it didn't provide us with a specific date for when the update would be available to current drivers. Here is the good news: if you currently own a car that uses the MyFord Touch interface, you will get a USB stick with the free update in the mail sometime this week.

If you don't want to wait for the mail, you can also download the update and copy it on a USB stick yourself. Update: we misread the update announcement. You can make an appointment with your dealer to install the update, but you can't download the update yourself.

For more about what the new software will offer drivers, also take a look at our preview of the upgrade from last year.

In addition to the update, Ford is also launching this new version, which includes major usability and speed enhancements, on its 2013 Taurus and Flex models this year. The company and Microsoft, which provides the underlying operating system, worked together closely to provide drivers with a better user experience compared to the first version, which was often criticized for its sluggishness and ability to confuse users. 

The upgrade itself should take somewhere between 45 and 60 minutes and is as easy as plugging the USB key into the car's Media Hub. The car will automatically recognize the update and start the process. 

For Ford, this is an important update. The previous version of Touch was widely criticized by drives and reviewers for being too complicated and distracting. At the same time, though, it's this kind of new technology that is driving quite a few purchase decisions. Indeed, according to Ford's own research, 56% of recent Ford buyers say that technology was an important part in their buying decision.