Tag Archives: Myford

How far can I go part II–using the car

How often do you use the Navigation system on the FFE? Probably not often. After all you can only go 70+ miles or so on a charge right? In addition you pretty much know your neighborhood and where you drive it (it is a commuter car…).

Even if you have used the nav system you probably have only set a single destination: “Take me home”. There are other buttons on the screen:
Nav screen

Ever wonder what that “Set as Waypoint” button does? Try it. Pressing that button takes you here:
Nav screen 2

You can use this screen to add in a bunch of stops to your route. You can indicate at each stop weather or not you’ll be charging. You can use this screen to program in an entire route to see if you can make it on the current charge. If you tell the car that you’ll be charging only at the last stop that way when you start the route in the car the “status” value will indicate if you can make the route or not (a positive value for status means you’ll have extra miles available after the route, a negative value means you can’t make the route). You can even be sitting at “Home” and program in “Home” as the last stop for a round trip.

To add more stops simply press the “Add Waypoint” button at top left. When adding intermediate stops be sure to hit the “Set as Waypoint” button at the POI screen (seen above with the button circled). When adding the last point hit the “Set as Dest” button. To start using the route you’ve created press the “Compute Route” button at the lower left. This will bring you to the normal start navigation screen where it shows the different route options (shortest, fastest, etc.) where you can continue just like using a single point destination.

 

Things they are a changing…or not!

Today was supposed to be the day that the PHEV and BEV MyFord Mobile sites merged. Instead users awoke to the following e-mail:

Dear MyFord Mobile User,

This email is being sent to inform you that we were unable to execute the changes of the MyFord Mobile website and mobile app that we had previously informed you would occur. We will now be making the aforementioned changes at a later date.

You may see the new version of MyFord Mobile in the app store or pushed to your phone as an update.  Please do not use this version and continue to use the version you have been.

We apologize for any inconvenience as we make this change. Should you have any issues, please call the Customer Relationship Center at 1-800-392-3673. After the language prompt please select option 3 and then option 4 to be connected with the team that interacts with consumers on Ford’s In-Vehicle Technology.  The hours of operation are 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM M-F and 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM Saturday (ET).

So a few people at Ford lost a weekend for nothing and will have to do it again. These kind of issues happen–you work on the software rollout, test and test, try a test rollout on a development server, then when you go to do it for real something pops up that you didn’t account for and have to roll everything back and start over (then typically on Monday you get an epiphany that the issue was caused by a missing semi-colon! LOL).

Update: Wow this certainly could not have gone worse for Ford! At some point the smartphone app updated to a version that simply says: “Use the new version download here”. Of course the “new” version doesn’t work at all since they rolled back the website. Thus, unless the smartphone user is savvy enough to be able to find the old version of the old app, all of the smartphone apps are currently useless. For many people this is the last straw: they are going to get rid of their FFE and, quite possibly, never purchase another Ford again–I don’t blame them.

 

Things they are a changing…

Users of the My Ford Mobile website have been getting the following e-mail regarding the site and some changes that will be happening this weekend:

Dear Focus Electric MyFord Mobile User,

This email was sent to inform you of the changes to the Focus Electric version of the MyFord Mobile website and mobile app. In order to provide the best consumer experience the Focus Electric version of MyFord Mobile will be merged with the Plug-In Hybrid version to create a single, user-friendly interface.

On Sunday, October 13th, from midnight to approximately 8 AM Eastern Time, the Focus Electric MyFord Mobile website and mobile app will be unavailable as we perform the necessary updates. During this time, any charge settings you have previously entered will function properly but will not be able to be altered via MyFord Mobile; this includes both Value Charging and GO Times features.

How will this benefit you?

  • By combining the infrastructure of both the Focus Electric and Plug-In Hybrid versions of MyFord Mobile it will enable Ford to make future enhancements more quickly.

How will this impact you?

  • You will still be able to use your existing user name and password on the new site.  In the event that you have both a Focus Electric and a Plug-In Hybrid account, the Plug-In Hybrid account credentials will take precedence.
  • There will be a new MyFord Mobile app available for both iPhone and Android. The existing Focus Electric app will no longer function or receive updates. You will need to delete the existing app and download the new app.
  • To ensure the system is displaying the most recent vehicle and driving information, you should press the “Update” button immediately after logging into MyFord Mobile.
  • Your data will be migrated from the current version to the new version.
  • You will have to re-enter any Value Charge times after selecting the “Update” button.

In addition, as we streamline the user experience the following features will be affected:

  • The Discussion forum will become available one week later on October 20th
  • Trip Planner will be available only on the mobile app
  • Facebook and Twitter integration for driving achievements will be discontinued

We apologize for any inconvenience during this change as we make this change, and we wish many more all-electric miles in your future. Should you have any issues after the conversion please call the Customer Relationship Center at 1-800-392-3673. After the language prompt please select option 3 and then option 4 to be connected with the team that interacts with consumers on Ford’s In-Vehicle Technology.  The hours of operation are 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM M-F and 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM Saturday (Eastern Time).

Regards,

Beth Profitt
MyFord Mobile Manager, Connected Services
Ford Motor Company

Looks like Ford will be integrating the two sites: The Focus BEV site and the Fusion/C-Max PHEV site. Originally there was only one: www.myfordmobile.com that was split into two with the launch of the Fusion/C-Max Energi vehicles (about 18 months ago). So now we are going back to one site. My take on this is that it is most likely a good thing; perhaps even, the combined site will work better (I’m sure the PHEV site was getting more attention from the backend due to the high volume of PHEV vehicle sales).

Maybe the car will feel all new again–granted I’ve only had the car now for 3 months so it still feels pretty new anyway! LOL

I suspect that trip planning via MapQuest will still work properly (detailed in this post) since that is a feature of My Ford Touch and not My Ford Mobile.

Ready to “Go”…

An interesting feature in the Focus Electric that I think I’ll enjoy much more as the weather gets chillier is the “Go Times”. Along with scheduling when it charges you can also schedule the car to “turn on” up to twice a day. About 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled time, if plugged in, the car will power up and set the climate system to a desired temperature (65, 72, or 85 degrees F).

This works out quite well if you have a fixed schedule during the week: My car is setup to warm itself up to 72 degrees every weekday morning just before I leave for work. I figured out that the car will keep running for up to 15 minutes after the “Go” time and have thus scheduled the time to 10 minutes prior my departure time–this lets the car warm up (or cool down) for an extra 10 minutes before I leave (something I’m sure will come in handy in January!).

In addition to heating/cooling the cabin for the driver’s comfort; setting the “Go” time also lets the car heat/cool the battery to the optimum temperature. This piece of the “Go” times is likely more important than driver comfort as the battery’s performance is affected more by temperature than the driver’s. A very hot or very cold battery will not provide the same range in the car as one at a nice and toasty 70 degrees or so.

 

Some tips and tricks for Focus Electric (and My Ford Touch) drivers

My Ford Touch

Here are a few of the tips and tricks that I’ve learned to use to make the most use out of My Ford Touch and the Focus Electric’s unique features:

My Ford Touch (MFT):

  1. The first tip is to use voice as much as possible. Most reviews of MFT say it is far too distracting–sure it is if you’re always looking at the screen to press buttons. Don’t do that use the voice commands; that is what they are there for.
  2. Go into “Settings -> Voice Control” and set all the voice prompt settings to “advanced”. This will reduce the amount of time that the car spends instructing you down to almost nothing (press the voice button and it will prompt with a single beep–much quicker than having to listen to: “Please say a command”)
  3. The command structure is supposed to be flat but it isn’t quite enough. What I mean by this is: You first have to tell the system what you want controlled before controlling it. This means instead of just saying: “Tune to 96.1” you have to first say: “Radio” then “Tune to 96.1”. This applies to everything: First say the device you want then say the command (“Phone”, “Radio”, “Satellite”, “Navigation”, “Climate”, etc.).
  4. The exception to #3 above is that some things you can always say: “Call Joe at home”, “Call dad at work”–assuming “Joe” and “dad” are contacts in your contact list.
  5. Since MFT is based on windows you can upload a custom wallpaper to it and set your background (the home screen only). Go to “Settings -> Display -> Edit wallpaper” and plug in a USB flash drive with your images on it–you’ll first need to rescale the images to 800 x 384 though.

Focus Electric specific tips:

  1. Charge using a Level 2 charger. You may be on the fence about getting a Level 2 installed at home–if you can manage it; do it. The faster charging time is worth it. You’ll find that quick 1/2 hour or 1 hour charges charge the car enough to make those extra trips you might have avoided.
  2. If you are using “Value Charging”: Don’t use the canned times given by your electricity supplier, use custom times instead and program the car to charge at some point past midnight. I’ve found that value charging before midnight really messes with the displayed charge times. Since I’ve been charging at 1am the car has charged quite regularly at that time without missing a beat.
  3. “Value Charging” tip #2: Program your weekend value charge times the same as the weekday. Sometimes MFT’s calendar is off by 1 day–by programming the weekend the same as weekday you won’t find it charging on Friday (or erroneously waiting to charge on Sunday). If you need to charge during the day on the weekends switch it over to charge now–just remember to switch it back before the week.
  4. You can send navigation waypoints to the car using either the My Ford Mobile website, or the smartphone application. Once you’ve sent them via either method: in the car press the voice button and say “services” it will dial up and say: “MapQuest has sent an address…” just answer yes and it will download the waypoint into the car.
  5. When using the nav system always tell the car you’ll be charging at the destination (even if you’re not). When the car thinks you’ll be charging the dash display switches to a range + extra display (detailed in this post). This display is really helpful with showing how much range you’ll have left over after you’ve made it to your destination.

I’ve been using these tips for a while now (in the MFT case for several years) while they don’t alleviate the most serious MFT bugs they do make using it much more satisfying.