There are many factors to consider when buying a car: gas mileage, size, color, transmission, etc. Two of the most important factors are comfort and ease of use because those indirectly go hand in hand with safety. However Ford is encountering a weird anomaly in its customers’ purchasing process where people who are not comfortable with or have no experience with new technologies that operate by touch and voice are purchasing cars such as the Ford Edge and adding on the MyFord Touch option, which operates completely on those two technologies. As a result, many Ford dealers are bringing in tech gurus to give a minimum 45 minute crash course to customers who are unfamiliar with the technology in their new car purchase.
The MyFord Touch allows you to take control of your audio, navigation, climate control, and cell phone integration via the touchscreen, voice commands, or multifunction buttons on the steering wheel. For the younger generation of buyers and for the tech-savvy folk, this system is a delight to work. For the older generations and those folk who still call YouTube “The YouTubes” this system is confusing and difficult to work. In fact, Consumer Reports switched its ratings on the Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKX to “not recommended” all because of the MyFord Touch system, touting it as “a complicated distraction while driving.” Ouch!
Its seems that Ford is holding the burden of responsibility in this but most of the blame should be shifted to the consumer instead. It’s nice that Ford dealers are offering you lessons for the system should you choose to take them when you purchase your car, but Ford shouldn’t have to. In fact, Ford should screen potential buyers before selling them a car equipped with the MyFord Touch to see if they have the tech-savvy to comfortably and flawlessly operate and understand the system.
I can totally understand if AT&T was offering lessons for new iPhone purchase but we are talking about a moving vehicle here. Getting confused by an iPhone and flubbing around with it won’t have the potential to cause a life-threatening accident every single time you do so. Furthermore, a 45 minute crash course won’t solve this problem. If you already are unfamiliar with technologies involving touch screens and voice commands it will take a few weeks for you to reach the fluid usage level needed to have a safe driving experience. The lessons offered by Ford are just a band-aid on an problem that can be prevented from the get-go.
It is the purchaser’s responsibility to not only take into consideration their needs and wants when buying a car, but also the safety of others they share the road with. Quite simply, don’t purchase a vehicle that has technology that will put others at risk via your usage of it. Ford should at least recommend a model of the same vehicle that does not come with MyFord Touch pre-installed, instead of waiting for you to purchase the vehicle and then offering lessons. If a lesser model doesn’t cut it for you, then simply find a different car that does. Or start off slow by purchasing a smartphone to get the experience needed to safely operate your MyFord Touch equipped vehicle before buying it.