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kdryden99

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I believe they are using systems from Visteon, since the driver display in F-150, the regular Mustang, and Mach E are from them. The 2 choices of infotainment systems are what Ford has talked about, an HTML5 version, and Android future version.

https://www.visteon.com/products/infotainment/

Regular Mustang driver display.
https://www.visteon.com/newsroom/20...ter-with-class-leading-graphics-capabilities/
It makes sense since they are a subsidiary of Ford via wikipedia:
Visteon Corporation (VC) is an American global automotive electronics supplier and Fortune 500 company spun off from the Ford Motor Company in 2000. Visteon is composed of multiple businesses that design, engineer, and manufacture vehicle cockpit electronics products and connected car services[3] for a diversified customer base, including all of the major automakers worldwide.[4]
 

silverelan

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While I agree with you that technology moves fast a $1k phone and $3k laptop get better support than car infotainment systems. iPhones are supported with OS updates for almost 7 years in some cases. True some features are not always available on older phones but iOS 14 supports the iPhone 6s which was released in 2015. The current Mac OS 11 supports devices released in 2013. This doesn't even speak to Linux flavors and Windows 10 supporting hardware much, much older. Ford seems to ditch infotainment systems every 3-4 years.

My point here is a $60k car should have better support than a cheaper product. I may change my phone every other year or so but I cannot afford to do that with a car. The Mach E will be the 3rd Ford I will own where in the Infotainment system will be rendered obsolete within 3 years. I mean the base warranty is longer than the life of some of the Sync software versions. It is so frustrating knowing that I will be making payments on a car for years after its infotainment system is no longer supported.

If Microsoft, Apple and Google can make devices for $1k with hardware that far out paces what is in current infotainment systems, and support it for an extended period of time, there is no reason why the auto manufacturers can't do the same. Same for software. Microsoft\Linux\Mac all support older hardware with Apple being the most aggressive in what hardware versions it supports.

With the exception of Tesla who has provided other avenues for continued support (MCU upgrades at reasonable prices), Ford and the auto manufacturers need to stop being cheap with the hardware and using that as their excuse to not develop software for it. Provide an avenue for hardware upgrades. That to me is planned obsolescence, forcing consumers to trade up to get continued support and the latest feature sets. "We cannot support it because we chose hardware that cannot support the new version of the OS" - Auto Manufacturers

Ford execs have acknowledged that consumers want a more phone like interface in their cars so why should we not expect the longevity in support? Federal law requires that manufacturers make parts 10 years past model release date why not expect the same for supportability. This is new territory that I hope will get hammered out soon.

As much as I don't like Google products for their monetizing of my personal data, at least with Android Automotive Ford appears to be taking the step in the direction of long term support. Now don't cheap out that hardware or give me the option for an upgrade, I don't mind paying for that. My car should be supported far beyond my phone!

**Dismounts soap box**
Tesla owners look forward to their regular OTA updates and then lose their collective minds when Tesla releases brand new Software Versions (currently on 10). As Tesla owners like to exaggerate, it's like getting a new car. In contrast, '21-22 Mustang Mach-E owners will forever be on Sync 4.

I'm trying to figure out why Ford wouldn't offer to migrate Sync 4 owners to Android. Is it hardware related either with the processors or screens? Like, will the MME dash and center screens be different in 2023 so that it doesn't make sense for Ford/Google to use development resources for the original MME screens?
 

SashaLondon

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Hypothetically would you pay for upgrade to sync 5?
 

BlueMach

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It makes sense since they are a subsidiary of Ford via wikipedia:
Visteon Corporation (VC) is an American global automotive electronics supplier and Fortune 500 company spun off from the Ford Motor Company in 2000. Visteon is composed of multiple businesses that design, engineer, and manufacture vehicle cockpit electronics products and connected car services[3] for a diversified customer base, including all of the major automakers worldwide.[4]
Visteon is not a subsidiary of Ford, and has not been since 2000, which is what that Wikipedia article says.
 

MJMachForum

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Tesla owners look forward to their regular OTA updates and then lose their collective minds when Tesla releases brand new Software Versions (currently on 10). As Tesla owners like to exaggerate, it's like getting a new car. In contrast, '21-22 Mustang Mach-E owners will forever be on Sync 4.

I'm trying to figure out why Ford wouldn't offer to migrate Sync 4 owners to Android. Is it hardware related either with the processors or screens? Like, will the MME dash and center screens be different in 2023 so that it doesn't make sense for Ford/Google to use development resources for the original MME screens?
I wouldn't be losing my mind for new OS or feature set upgrades. It keeps the car in pace with what customers are expecting from the vehicle. Just because Ford doesn't offer the upgrade doesn't mean its not possible. My 2013 Flex had MyFord Touch (Sync 2) but you could easily upgrade the hardware to Sync 3 as the 2016+ Flex models had Sync 3. Ford could offer an easy upgrade provided the mounting and digital interface are the same. I don't understand the mindset of getting upset for getting "new car" with every OS upgrade.

The bigger concerns here are single integration and going cheap on the hardware so that OS upgrades are not possible. I mean the low end iPhones have more power than infotainment systems so we know its possible to build affordable hardware with some forethought for long lived software support. The Sync packages Ford has offered in the past were about $1500-$2500 of which the hardware accounted for maybe $200 max cost to Ford. Ford has a huge markup on infotainment hardware. Maybe that had to do with software development but with Android Automotive that cost is reduced. Also, map licensing will not be that big of a concern with connected cars.

What I would like to see with new cars is a more modular design to the infotainment and connected hardware. Make the infotainment computer like a cartridge that plugs into the car. Consumers can swap out the the cartridge on their own, if they feel inclined to do so, or a technician can make the swap easy enough so that the cost is kept to a min. LCD touch screens haven't changed much so it's easy for newer telematics computers to just connect to the screen. Same with the cellular modem. Detach it from the telematics unit and integrate into the antenna module. You can easily upgrade to 5G when it comes down the pike. We are getting 4G which will be rendered obsolete in 10-15 years, if we are lucky.

If auto manufactures want to encourage longevity in EVs and add another revenue stream it would make sense to treat their EVs like computers with easily interchangeable parts. These parts can be used across their entire model lineup so the initial investment of building out the architecture would be recouped quickly. This also simplifies the support matrix for the infotainment system and further solidifies Fords commitment to software\hardware supportability of their vehicles.

Ford could even offer an upgrade path much like phones do. Apple offers yearly upgrades with their iPhone trade up program. Why can't the auto manufacturers do the same. The other benefit to consumers, especially the second owners, is they now have a way to get newer features with out having shell out $$$$ for a new car. Also, with the current design on the Mach E there are no after market swap outs you can do. The days of double DIN stereos are over.

Hopefully someone at Ford is thinking about such things. Current design of Mach E doesn't show promise.
 
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silverelan

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Hypothetically would you pay for upgrade to sync 5?
That's a good financial incentive question. Let's flip this around to the company's perspective. @RonTCat says that he expects there to be parallel development teams for awhile for Sync 4 and Android Automotive. Does it make financial sense to support development resources to a dying platform or would it be better to upgrade everyone to the newest OS?

Also, will Ford's best devs want to work on a dying platform or will they choose to move to the Android team?
 

dbsb3233

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That's a good financial incentive question. Let's flip this around to the company's perspective. @RonTCat says that he expects there to be parallel development teams for awhile for Sync 4 and Android Automotive. Does it make financial sense to support development resources to a dying platform or would it be better to upgrade everyone to the newest OS?

Also, will Ford's best devs want to work on a dying platform or will they choose to move to the Android team?
Just to put this in perspective, every modern infotainment system could be similarly classified as "a dying platform". Even the new Android one for 2023. Once we got past the days of basic car radios and shifted into computer screens, that began the computer age of cars (which is to say, perpetual advancement and planned obsolescence). After Sync5 replaces our Sync4, there will be a Sync6 that replaces it, then a Sync7...

I agree that more of the effort will always go into the newest system. Whether now, or in 3 years, or in 6 years. That's just the way it works. Legacy versions are maintained, but with gradually fading enhancement of them.

The next customers are always more important than the last ones. That's pretty much true of all products.
 
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Gimme_my_MME

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Ford could even offer an upgrade path much like phones do. Apple offers yearly upgrades with their iPhone trade up program. Why can't the auto manufacturers do the same.
Isn't that a lease? Or Options in this case?
 

MJMachForum

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Just to put this in perspective, every modern infotainment system could be similarly classified as "a dying platform". Even the new Android one for 2023. Once we got past the days of basic car radios and shifted into computer screens, that began the computer age of cars (which is to say, perpetual advancement and planned obsolescence). After Sync5 replaces our Sync4, there will be a Sync6 that replaces it, then a Sync7...

I agree that more of the effort will always go into the newest system. Whether now, or in 3 years, or in 6 years. That's just the way it works. Legacy versions are maintained, but with gradually fading enhancement of them.

The next customers are always more important than the last ones. That's pretty much true of all products.
While I agree with your statement around fast moving technology I would like to point out cars are still built on the CAN-Bus architecture. The physical layer has not changed much in the decades it's been in use. Most of the changes to the CAN has been software related. In my view, there is no reason why a $60k car cannot have interchangeable parts to increase its longevity. Planned obsolesces is for toasters and blenders. I shell out too much money for my car to have it drop software support before Ford stops making parts for it.

That brings me to another point. If ford adopted a more modular architecture to their infotainment system (or the car as a whole) if parts fail, users out of warranty will get an upgrade with the repair. This also reduces the cost to Ford to keep parts around for older cars as all cars can accept the newer hardware. Again, if CAN has been around this long there is no reason why infotainment systems have to be built in such a way that they are obsolete every 4-5 years.

[UPDATE] - To clarify, cars are modular today as there are separate modules for different functions. What I'm getting at is why are they placed all over the car? I'm not a car engineer\designer\architect but I can't see it to bee too difficult to make most of the computer components centrally located and similar design so that they can be more widely used and easily upgraded.
 
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silverelan

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My Google Pixel 2 from 2017 has the latest version of Android 11 and has been constantly updating since I got it.

If the Google-Ford partnership can offer that sort of software upgradability, I'd very much like that in my 2021 MME GT.
 

kdryden99

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Visteon is not a subsidiary of Ford, and has not been since 2000, which is what that Wikipedia article says.
So my interpretation of spun off is incorrect?

edit* "In a traditional spin-off, the parent company forms a subsidiary corporation (if the line of business or division is not already a subsidiary) and transfers the relevant assets to that subsidiary. The parent company then dividends shares of that subsidiary to the stockholders of the parent company."
 

kdryden99

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Hypothetically would you pay for upgrade to sync 5?
Id say depends on multiple things
a) cost?
b) how long will it be supported?
c) Is it necessary in order to receive performance updates as well
Think about it, the contract is for 6yrs after that what happens? Are we in the same boat again?
 

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So my interpretation of spun off is incorrect?

edit* "In a traditional spin-off, the parent company forms a subsidiary corporation (if the line of business or division is not already a subsidiary) and transfers the relevant assets to that subsidiary. The parent company then dividends shares of that subsidiary to the stockholders of the parent company."
Visteon was spun-off to the public markets with 100.0% of the company owned by private investors. There is no shareholding between Ford and Visteon.

Visteon is as much as subsidiary of Ford as GM is.
 

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when this first came down I started looking at Tesla again. But I have decided to go Ford Options for 3 years. If Ford doesn’t deliver on OTA upgrades and fully supporting the car then I’ll either upgrade to a newer model at the end of options or go with a competing vehicle. In 3 years EVs will probably be hitting 400 miles plus so I figure either way I’ll benefit from not committing now and seeing how things go.
 



 









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