Benchmark Results: Boot, Bluetooth, And Navigation
So much of what we do centers on benchmark results. As such, we've developed a test suite that covers some of the tasks and processes that are important to a driver using his car's technology package. The tasks that we're measuring include: boot-up time, time to connect to a paired phone, the time it takes to start music playback after booting the infotainment system, route computation, and lastly, how long it takes to actually add a phone to the system. We chose these measurements because they affect everyday use of the system.
We perform the tests by recording video of each action and reviewing the footage in an editor to establish the exact point the system was turned on, and when the tasks are completed. The result is accurate; these aren't stop watch-timed tests. Since the 2012 Ford Focus Titanium is our first test car, we’re establishing a baseline with a personal vehicle, a 2011 Volkswagen Routan SE with the mainstream Chrysler 430N (RHB radio code with Garmin navigation) system and UConnect Bluetooth connectivity. This is a system Chrysler currently sells with new vehicles.
SYNC with MyFord Touch boots pretty quickly. We measured 17 seconds before you see the home screen. The Chrysler 430N system is technically quicker, but both systems start booting as soon as you open the door, so they're able to turn on almost instantly once you're sitting down with the engine running.
Music playback actually begins before the system finishes booting on Ford's SYNC, which is quite nice. Compared to Chrysler's 430N, Sync with MyFord Touch is faster, but not by much.
Both SYNC with MyFord Touch and Chrysler’s 430N systems automatically connect to phones on boot-up. The Chrysler 430N has a four-second advantage here, but both solutions end up below 30 seconds (a tolerable wait time).
The time it takes to pair a Bluetooth device to an infotainment system varies greatly. SYNC with MyFord Touch, however, offers the fastest and most pleasant experience we’ve had with in-car Bluetooth. Getting the system into discovery mode does not involve a ton of sub-menus or rely on voice prompts exclusively like it does on our Chrysler 430N. There's simply a button on the screen. You press it and search for SYNC using your phone. That's it.
Chrysler's 430N takes the lead with its Garmin navigation software. But SYNC with MyFord Touch isn't far behind.