Last week owners of 2011 and 2012 Ford vehicles received a software update. Perhaps this is the next trend in car updates, as the software arrived on USB flash drives which were mailed out to owners. In order to perform the system update, owners will simply plug the thumb drives into their USB ports. The process of upgrading the software from the USB drive takes about an hour. Instead of using the thumb drives, owners also have the option of taking their cars to the dealers who also received the USB drives. We imagine that if the software works as planned, it should be a cinch for customers to perform the update from the USB drive.
The software being upgraded with the flash drives is for the MyFordTouch, the vehicles “infotainment” system. Vehicles with built-in navigation systems will also receive updated maps. These are being shipped on SD cards. The software update simplifies the screen layout for customers. It also speeds up response times when changing radio stations or adjusting temperature controls. Of course car radios have already included USB drives for storing and playing music. Meanwhile, automakers such as Mercede Benz have long used key shaped USB drives to distribute promotional materials.