AppLink allows drivers to use steering wheel-mounted controls or voice commands to access compatible smartphone apps, with early offerings including Pandora Internet Radio, Omny and Club Connect.
Other apps on offer from launch include Spotify, Glympse and ESPN CricInfo. From 2015, Ford’s regular Fiesta and Focus models will also offer SYNC AppLink, along with the Ranger and Transit commercial vehicles.
Ford’s MyKey system - not to be confused with Victoria’s ‘myki’ public transport payment card - will also find its way into four more models by 2015.
MyKey is aimed squarely at the parents of young drivers, giving them the ability to pre-set some of the vehicle’s features in an effort to keep their offspring safe.
Users can determine the maximum volume for the audio system, when the low-fuel warning light will illuminate and even the vehicle’s maximum speed before handing the keys over to their P-platers.
The features are also expandable, with the audio system volume limit reverting to zero if the car detects one or more front seat passengers not wearing a seatbelt.
Parents can set reminders alerting the driver to the current speed limit, while Ford has responded to customer feedback by adding 100 and 110km/h speed limiter settings to the existing 140km/h option.
Of the parents surveyed, 43 percent said they would buy or consider buying a car equipped with MyKey technology, while a surprising 90 percent of young drivers surveyed would be happy to drive such a vehicle.
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