Ford's new interface

Ford's new interface

Ford used the Geneva Auto Show to launch its new Europe-only S-Max, which is sort of a crossover minivan. Along with it, Ford introduced a new systems interface that I hope makes its way across Ford's international-model lineup. We spend a lot of time critiquing automotive interfaces at CNET Car Tech, and I think Ford has a winner. In a big nod toward Audi, the S-Max puts a red LED between the speedometer and the tachometer, which is used to show information such as route guidance. This lets the driver keep her eyes closer to the road instead of on the center stack. Similarly, the steering-wheel spokes hold metal multifunction buttons that have a solid feel, making it unnecessary to hit buttons on the center stack for minor adjustments. The LCD in the center stack is surrounded by a nice set of hard-coded buttons, with a good-size push-button dial at the bottom. Although someone had set the language to Russian (these things happen at car shows), the interface felt well integrated and was easy to control.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.


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