Ford Motor Company offers drivers 'video snacks'

Ford Motor Company has created dozens and dozens of short instructional videos that offer very specific information about the details on new Ford Motor Company vehicles, Read writes.

Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters/File
The Ford Motor Company logo is pictured on the rooftop of Austria's Ford head branch in Vienna. Ford has announced a plan to make the learning curve for new-car owners a little shallower, Read writes.

Perhaps more than any other automaker, Ford understands the challenges of explaining technology to customers. Its own MyFord Touch and SYNC systems have caused the company's initial quality rankings to plummet because owners don't understand how all the bells and whistles work.

Now, Ford has announced a plan to make the learning curve for new-car owners a little shallower -- and the entire process much more convenient.

To do that, Ford is using the same teaching tool that Americans have relied on since the invention of the VCR: instructional videos. Ford has created dozens and dozens of what it's (unfortunately) calling "video snacks", which offer very specific information about the details on new Fordvehicles.

For you, the shopper, the experience will work a bit like this: 

  • Once you've selected the vehicle you'd like to purchase, your Ford salesperson will go through a list of features that you can learn about on your own or at the time of delivery.
    • You can watch videos at the dealership, while the salesperson is there to answer additional questions, or you can wait until you get home, where you'll receive an email containing links to "video snacks" about the features that most interest you.
    • If you realize after a few weeks of driving your new vehicle that you'd like more info on a specific feature, don't worry: Ford has been posting all of these instructional clips to its Know Your Vehicle channel on YouTube since late last year, so you can access them online at any time.

    Despite the name, this is a great new program -- though admittedly, we're a little confused why the clips aren't included for playback in Ford vehicles equipped with video screens. That would allow owners to sit in their cars and walk through features as the videos play.

    Of course, technically, they can already do that with a smartphone or tablet pointed at YouTube, but why doesn't Ford eliminate the middleman and include videos right in the dash? After all, it's pretty clear that video-based user guides are coming, and it seems like Ford has all the data necessary to beat others to the punch.

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