One of the true tests of how well mobile tech works, is how it handles a real world failure. While using the Ford Taurus with Microsoft SYNC technology on our Great American Road Trip 2.0 I had the opportunity to find out how the car, which is as much a computer as a means of transportation, handled a failure caused by user error — a dead battery.
Halfway through our trip when I parked the car late at night I was in a hurry and didn’t realize that I had switched the headlights from auto to always on. I did notice the next morning when I tried to unlock the car by touching the numbers on the door or using the remote and nothing happened. Thankfully the keyfob for the Ford Taurus has a hard key inside it which was able to get us into the car, and eventually the trunk thanks to a fold down backseat, where our jumper cables were.
From there we were able to get a jump from a local couple who happened to be parked nearby. Within a few minutes of hooking up the jumper cables the car was ready to go and to my surprise everything worked perfectly.
The SYNC system remembered our devices and the head unit even remembered the last set of directions we had entered the night before. I was impressed with the ease of essentially restarting the car after an improper shutdown as well as the ease at jump starting the Taurus since it seems newer cars come with the battery covered by brackets or hidden in the trunk.
Hopefully a future SYNC version will offer the option to turn off the headlights with enough juice to start the car one more time or a text message alert when the lights are left on.