Reinventing Automobile Entertainment
Ford is reinventing the way drivers and passengers entertain themselves while on the road, offering new ways to wirelessly stream live TV and listen to music in its newest SUVs.
These new features are a result of shifting trends toward streaming services, whether for television shows, movies, music, podcasts and more. For example, one in three U.S. consumers currently listen to streaming music, according to trade association IFPI, with Generation Z and Millennials streaming at a more frequent rate.
“Increasingly, our on-the-go customers are streaming music and television to their personal devices,” said Michael O’Brien, Ford SUV Group Marketing manager. “We’re meeting this demand in our biggest and smallest SUVs.”
In the all-new Expedition, available this fall, an available Wi-Fi hotspot supports as many as 10 devices at once – up to 50 feet from the vehicle – while an available dual-headrest rear seat entertainment system provides a next-generation video experience that allows passengers to watch live TV via SlingPlayer™ on either of two video screens. The system represents the first time SlingPlayer – which connects to a user’s home Slingbox™ account – is offered in an automobile.
In the all-new EcoSport, available in early 2018, as well as in the new Expedition, Ford offers stream-friendly technology. This technology includes Apple CarPlay™and Android Auto™ capability, SiriusXM™ radio and an 8-inch touchscreen. It also offers USB ports and power outlets that allow customers to connect and charge their many devices.
The 2018 Ford Expedition reaches showrooms later this year. Passengers will be able to use the available dual-headrest rear seat entertainment system monitors to watch movies and videos.
In a compact SUV like EcoSport, every inch of interior real estate is precious. With Millennials preferring streaming and subscription music services over CDs, Ford is replacing the CD player in the EcoSport. This available technology will allow more on-demand choices while freeing up interior. According to the 2016 Nielsen Mid-Year U.S. Music Report, overall consumption of digital music – downloaded and streamed combined – is up 15 percent.
Meanwhile, physical album sales, including CDs, are down 10 percent, against a sustained surge in vinyl. By 2021, IHS Automotive projects 46 percent of vehicles sold in North America will not have a CD player. Instead of a CD player, EcoSport will now feature a unique horizontal storage bin over the glove box. This will be perfect for storing smartphones within reach. It also allows for a more upright touch screen. EcoSport also offers an available Wi-Fi hotspot and SYNC Connect® with FordPass®.