- The Washington Times - Friday, March 5, 2010

DEARBORN, Mich. | What does Ford Motor Co. have in common with Google, Apple and Amazon? Ford shares a spot with them on Fast Company’s Top 10 list of “Most Innovative” companies in mobile technology and becomes the first automaker to ever be recognized in the category.

“This honor represents Ford’s commitment to innovation and development of technology that enhances the driving experience and adds real value to the consumer,” said Mark Fields, Ford president for the Americas. “We’re very proud of this recognition from Fast Company, and it is truly an accomplishment to be named amongst some of the leading technology innovators and mobile-application developers.”

Fast Company ranked Ford fifth in the mobile-technology category for the introduction and evolution of SYNC, the industry-leading connectivity system co-developed with Microsoft, as well as the recent unveiling of MyFord Touch, an innovative user interface that promises to redefine the in-car experience.

“The automaker has taken a great leap forward,” says Fast Company.

Ford developed SYNC in response to the explosive growth potential of the mobile device and embarked on a strategy to build a software-based connectivity platform that could leverage the increasing power of the phone and improving data networks. MyFord Touch expands on the system’s device-connectivity features by delivering a graphical, touch and voice-controlled user interface that maximizes SYNC’s capability and provides an intuitive and safer way for drivers to interact with the car.

“Collaboration and strategic investment in open innovation have been keys to our success,” Mr. Fields said. “Our relationship with Microsoft was just the beginning, as we’ve forged strong relationships throughout the mobile industry and look forward to even more.”

In addition to introducing MyFord Touch at the recent 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show, Ford became the first automaker to announce hands-free command and control of smart-phone apps. Pandora, Stitcher and OpenBeak are the first to implement the SYNC Application Programming Interface (API), enabling drivers to voice-control the apps through SYNC’s Bluetooth connection.

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