Res Nullius

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Read this at a Tesla forum (posted by a Model 3 owner) and thought it was interesting insight:


I met a software designer for the Ford Mustang Mach-E. He lives in Redmond, WA but travels frequently to Detroit, MI. I won’t share his name unless he comes up on here.

Formerly of Microsoft, he was picked up by ford along with some other new talent to spearhead this endeavor.

The team owned Tesla model 3s for a year to “live the life” and feel/love/learn the Nuances that Tesla built into the software.

The interior engineer team lead also had a model 3 during design development and there were a few model 3s on each phase of testing, as I am sure will continue to be the case until final production configurations.

Ford having the model 3 allowed the team to see the direct competitor Y first hand at about 95% accuracy.

We talked about small things like adding new wheels/TPMS sensors with the Tesla asking which size wheels and running an auto calibration for Speedo and driving characteristics and I brought up the love of smaller things like pushing the center console lid too hard to close it and it brings up a message on screen to close it gently.

You could see and hear the passion for the project in him and he loved the Tesla.

They hadn’t been able to tell anybody what they were working on. Like a skunkworks project from Lockheed.

I am hoping that time with the Tesla will help steer some of the bugs we saw at launch still. Get away from the SYNC like crap user interface.

He is probably on here, as he has been on many forums, groups, and at Tesla meets. Most of the design team has been in the community to try and match to the culture and features.

I love my model 3; however, I believe we need ford to have success with this to push the industry further faster. I do wish that car luck. I will not likely be buying one in the future but maybe something else in the pipeline.

It is great to think monster ford has their ears to the grass roots of this and other communities to try and capture some of the Tesla magic.
 

ejss

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Honestly, that gives me more hope since Tesla is THE company to model your software updates after. They've done an amazing job.
 

Mopey

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Read this at a Tesla forum (posted by a Model 3 owner) and thought it was interesting insight:
My 2015 Lincoln has Sync 2. My 2016 Mustang has Sync 3. My 2021 Mach E will have Sync 4. Enough already. It's all well and good to upgrade the GUI to make the system more user friendly, but Ford's existing Sync systems never seem to have enough memory, processing power, display size, etc. to accommodate those improvements. I shouldn't have to buy a new car to get a better interface. It appears Tesla, with their continuous quality upgrades may be running into similar capacity/processing issues. https://futurism.com/the-byte/elon-musk-tesla-upgrade-not-worth-it

Ford, PLEASE don't shortchange the Mach E's computer/memory such that those future, planned cool, and/or necessary, improvements are constrained by a system design that can't accommodate them.
 
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Macheeee

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My F150 has upgraded to new versions of Sync 3 twice. What a pain. It could never do it over the air so I was forced to do it with a USB stick. Multiple attempts, each 20-45 minutes before success. Terrible update process. And the stick did not get the final confirmation code so ford thinks the truck has 3.1 not version 3.3 that is installed. Hope the new S/W is all new from ground up with wireless CarPlay support.
 

MachSpeed

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My sync 3 in both my 2019 Ranger and 2018 Edge work great. If you notice Ford has been calling it the Next Gen Sync (yes I know it's also been called sync4) I believe all the research and all the new tech people Ford has hired along with spending time in Tesla's will make the Mach E's interface world class.
 

stmache

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I have to agree with @Macheeee on the Sync 3 upgrade process. I got my 2017 Mustang to upgrade the first time without an issue BUT it took about 20 minutes using an USB drive. I never could get the 2017 Escape to upgrade. It always stopped about half way through and I gave up after three attempts.

I will be watching to see how the Mach-e's OTA updates work.
 

macchiaz-o

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I have to reset a fuse at least a few times a year to regain control of the MyFordTouch Sync 2 on my car... Of course with Sync 3, they moved to a different operating system (BlackBerry QNX) and they are continuing on with that on Sync 4, albeit with a ton of new changes.

I have high hopes. :)
 

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So that helps explain why the Mach-E has a computer tablet tacked onto the dashboard like Tesla does. I personally hate this type of design -- looks tacky and cheap -- and would much rather have (a) computer screen embedded neatly into the dashboard, and (b) buttons/knobs/dials for climate controls and audio controls. I personally think that touchscreens should be banned in cars as unsafe, not to mention finicky and unnecessarily complicated and prone to ugly fingerprints all over; Mazda, for one, is doing it right in their new models -- after listening to criticisms of touchscreens, they had people blindfolded to design buttons/knobs/dials for the important controls that a driver needs while driving, to make it for safer driving (and they use a computer screen controlled only by buttons/dials, so it's not a touchscreen). Ford has looked too much at Tesla, it seems, and this is not good -- the touchscreen.
 

zhackwyatt

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So that helps explain why the Mach-E has a computer tablet tacked onto the dashboard like Tesla does. I personally hate this type of design -- looks tacky and cheap -- and would much rather have (a) computer screen embedded neatly into the dashboard, and (b) buttons/knobs/dials for climate controls and audio controls. I personally think that touchscreens should be banned in cars as unsafe, not to mention finicky and unnecessarily complicated and prone to ugly fingerprints all over; Mazda, for one, is doing it right in their new models -- after listening to criticisms of touchscreens, they had people blindfolded to design buttons/knobs/dials for the important controls that a driver needs while driving, to make it for safer driving (and they use a computer screen controlled only by buttons/dials, so it's not a touchscreen). Ford has looked too much at Tesla, it seems, and this is not good -- the touchscreen.
I think there can be a healthy balance. A hundred and fifty buttons isn't driver friendly either. I think my C-Max has a good balance. Volume knobs, dedicated climate controls, steering wheel controls, etc. Touch screen can do that stuff too, but there for complicated things like setting up Bluetooth.
 

RyZt

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So that helps explain why the Mach-E has a computer tablet tacked onto the dashboard like Tesla does. I personally hate this type of design -- looks tacky and cheap -- and would much rather have (a) computer screen embedded neatly into the dashboard, and (b) buttons/knobs/dials for climate controls and audio controls. I personally think that touchscreens should be banned in cars as unsafe, not to mention finicky and unnecessarily complicated and prone to ugly fingerprints all over; Mazda, for one, is doing it right in their new models -- after listening to criticisms of touchscreens, they had people blindfolded to design buttons/knobs/dials for the important controls that a driver needs while driving, to make it for safer driving (and they use a computer screen controlled only by buttons/dials, so it's not a touchscreen). Ford has looked too much at Tesla, it seems, and this is not good -- the touchscreen.
I'm on the other end of the opinion. We can agree to disagree. However, I want to make it clear that there are different opinions.

I really liked it when, during the Mach E live unveil, Ford showed a picture of people attaching one or more phones to their cars and totally ignored the built-in map/music/etc. I'm so glad that Ford recognizes that's what people do nowadays.

I like touch screen buttons because buttons no longer stuck where they are the day the car comes out of factory. OTA has a lot more potential when constraints are minimized.

A large touch screen allows larger buttons and allows buttons to move higher in the center console (because touch screen buttons can hide when not in use, so that they don't get in the way). As a result, I do not think touch screen is worse on the usability regard.
I'm in my 20s and drive a CMax SE since 2013. I don't find the physical climate control knobs convenient because they are too low on the console area. Additionally, even though I know the relative location of the buttons among themselves, I still have to glimpse it to locate the buttons area.

Ford kept a physical control dial on the screen. Who knows, but maybe they will allow people who prefer it to use the dial for BMW/Mazda style control.
 

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For buttons/knobs that are well-placed, it is well known that the driver quickly learned their locations and can make changes to climate and audio without even looking at them. This is impossible with a touchscreen, which requires you to spend extended precious moments looking at such a screen, scrolling through it looking for what you want, touching various touch icons to get what you want, etc. I think that touchscreens -- if they exist at all in cars (and I don't see that they need to exist) -- should have all command functions disabled while the car is in motion. Yes, younger people may think that touchscreens are "cool", but that doesn't make them safe and it doesn't make them right/proper for drivers to be using when driving. We need to make driving safer, not less safe.
 

macchiaz-o

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Thankfully, there are plenty of buttons on the steering wheel that are duplicated by controls on the touch screen. So choose your weapon. For climate control, you could also use your voice (I can do this on my Fiesta, too).
 

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So that helps explain why the Mach-E has a computer tablet tacked onto the dashboard like Tesla does. I personally hate this type of design -- looks tacky and cheap -- and would much rather have (a) computer screen embedded neatly into the dashboard, and (b) buttons/knobs/dials for climate controls and audio controls.
For buttons/knobs that are well-placed, it is well known that the driver quickly learned their locations and can make changes to climate and audio without even looking at them. This is impossible with a touchscreen, which requires you to spend extended precious moments looking at such a screen, scrolling through it looking for what you want, touching various touch icons to get what you want, etc.
I agree. At least the Mach-E has a display in front of the driver, unlike the Model 3 (and presumably Y).

For the I-Pace, Jaguar struck a perfect balance between screens and physical controls; the HVAC knobs with dynamic displays are particularly slick.
 

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I'm on the other end of the opinion. We can agree to disagree. However, I want to make it clear that there are different opinions.

I really liked it when, during the Mach E live unveil, Ford showed a picture of people attaching one or more phones to their cars and totally ignored the built-in map/music/etc. I'm so glad that Ford recognizes that's what people do nowadays.

I like touch screen buttons because buttons no longer stuck where they are the day the car comes out of factory. OTA has a lot more potential when constraints are minimized.

A large touch screen allows larger buttons and allows buttons to move higher in the center console (because touch screen buttons can hide when not in use, so that they don't get in the way). As a result, I do not think touch screen is worse on the usability regard.
I'm in my 20s and drive a CMax SE since 2013. I don't find the physical climate control knobs convenient because they are too low on the console area. Additionally, even though I know the relative location of the buttons among themselves, I still have to glimpse it to locate the buttons area.

Ford kept a physical control dial on the screen. Who knows, but maybe they will allow people who prefer it to use the dial for BMW/Mazda style control.
So you don't mind having a HUGE screen in your face, because Climate knobs are to far to reach..? I live in Michigan and I don't think I've touched my climate control in weeks.

Question: do you drive, or fidget when you drive...?
 

FusionEnergi

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I rarely touch my screen on my 2017 fusion energi...I mostly use my steering control buttons and sometimes voice commands. I like the tablet size but looks a bit awkward from the various pictures I have seen. It looks uncomfortable...it needs some kind of angle. I Just need to sit in the car and feel it.
 
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