Arguing against screens in new cars is a losing battle. Every automaker is working hard to boost the display real estate in new models, and the level of integration between cars and the connected world at large is growing rapidly. Ford and Lincoln recently detailed a digital development roadmap that places screens and software at the forefront of their ownership experience going forward, and it’s clear the pair view vehicles as another device in people’s connected lives.
Ford said the average U.S. household has 16 connected devices and noted that it believes vehicles should offer a seamless connection between them. The Ford/Lincoln Digital Experience features apps from Google, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and apps from Amazon, among others.
The 2024 Lincoln Nautilus is the current flagship for this technology, as it brings the brand’s first 48-inch panoramic display, featuring the highest resolution ever offered in a Lincoln. The system serves as part of the SUV’s driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, the hands-free semi-autonomous driving function.
Beyond offering new features, Ford said the Digital Experience helps reduce distraction by letting drivers place the apps they use the most closest to their line of sight. Media, weather, and other information can be positioned in widgets on one side of the display to provide quick information, and owners can set up profiles to store different configurations for drivers.
Part of the Ford/Lincoln tech expansion includes third-party app installations. The new system offers Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, iHeartRadio, Prime Video, YouTube, and more. Google Play games are also available and can use a Bluetooth controller connection. Video conferencing apps will soon be available to let owners Zoom wherever they’re parked.
The Nautilus is the first Ford or Lincoln model to get the Digital Experience, but others will follow. Ford said the system is designed for future updates and expansion through over-the-air updates and 5G internet connectivity.