Ford has announced the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to its SYNC 3 infotainment system. Set to be debuted at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the system also adds a host of other features including the new SYNC Connect technology.
Compatible with the iPhone 5 and later models, the Apple CarPlay seamlessly integrates an iPhone with the car’s built-in display and controls via USB. It features Siri voice control, which will allow users to to make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions and others without having to take their eyes off the road.
On the other hand, the Android Auto is available for users of Android devices 5.0 and higher. It enables users to access plenty of Google-based functions including voice search, maps and music playback through the use of steering wheel controls and touch screen.
The new SYNC Connect technology powered by 4G LTE gives owners the ability to remotely access features of their car – they can now program a remote start, unlock doors, check fuel level or even locate a parked vehicle via their smartphone.
In addition, apps using available vehicle information such as GPS location and mileage will be available this year under the AppLink. The apps include American Automobile Association (AAA) member services (or CAA for Canada), Concur business trip data logger, and Tencent Chelian, which allows users to access China’s most popular social media platform, QQ’s messaging app, as well as music, real-time traffic conditions and streaming radio.
Not only that, those looking to spend the night out can use Eventseeker and Cityseeker, both of which will use data from the GPS to help users find the best events, restaurants, nightlife and other attractions in more than 500 cities worldwide.
The update will be available in North America on all 2017 vehicles equipped with SYNC 3, starting with the all-new Escape. Owners of 2016 model year vehicles will be able to get their hands on the latest infotainment at some point later this year.
SYNC Brings New AppLink Apps to Millions of Customers,Adds Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G LTE to New Vehicles
• Ford SYNC® report tracking and Eventseeker to find nearby music and other entertainment
• Apple CarPlay added to SYNC, giving iPhone users access to Maps, Messages, Phone and Music through Siri voice control or touch screen
• Android AutoTM enables easier and safer access to Google voice search, Google Maps, Google Play Music and more via steering wheel controls and touch screen
• New SYNC Connect technology powered by 4G LTE enables remote start, unlock doors, check fuel level and locate a parked vehicle via smartphone
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4, 2016 – Ford is expanding its SYNC® connectivity system, adding Apple CarPlay, Android AutoTM, 4G LTE and several new AppLinkTM apps to help millions of consumers stay connected behind the wheel and even when they are away from their cars.
“SYNC allows customers to bring the smartphone technology they’re comfortable with into a vehicle and use it without hassle,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “With SYNC, we move at our customers’ pace – making it easy for them to maintain a connected lifestyle no matter their choice of smartphone, apps or services inside and outside their vehicle.”
With more than 15 million SYNC-equipped vehicles on roads around the world today and 43 million expected by 2020, Ford’s industry-leading communications and entertainment technology is offering customers even more connectivity. Connectivity is one part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.
Starting this year, owners of SYNC 3-equipped vehicles will have more choice in how they access their smartphones in the car. iPhone users can activate Apple CarPlay, and Android users can activate Android Auto, two interfaces built specifically for those types of smartphones.
In addition, new SYNC Connect technology powered by 4G LTE gives owners the ability to remotely access features of their car. Owners can program a remote start, unlock doors, check fuel level or locate a parked vehicle via their smartphone.
In North America, Ford is making Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available on all 2017 vehicles equipped with SYNC 3, starting with the all-new Ford Escape. Owners of 2016 vehicles equipped with SYNC 3 will have an opportunity to upgrade later in the year.
SYNC Connect technology expands globally, reaching more than 20 million customers by 2020.
Take your apps with you
With AppLink – the SYNC feature enabling drivers to voice-control smartphone apps from the driver’s seat – Ford is making it even easier to create unique, personalized experiences.
The first apps using available vehicle information such as GPS location and mileage will be available this year, taking the in-car app experience to a more personal and customized level.
• AAA/CAA: The app for AAA members in the U.S. and CAA members in Canada uses vehicle GPS data to allow users to access fuel prices, locate fueling stations and use the Here2there route planning feature, which includes traffic, on the move
• Concur: Upon starting a Ford vehicle, Concur users receive a prompt asking if they want to log a business trip. The app then starts clocking mileage from the odometer using vehicle data. Each time the car is turned off, this constitutes one trip recorded in the Trace Trip Journal. At the end of the day, the journal is complete, and the driver is prompted to reconcile the day’s trips
• Eventseeker: Users can discover events from behind the wheel that fit their interest profile based on vehicle location data, finding out more about artists playing nearby, wherever they travel in their Ford vehicle
• Cityseeker: Vehicle GPS data brings the best restaurants, nightlife and other attractions in more than 500 cities worldwide directly to the driver
• Tencent Chelian: Drivers can access China’s most popular social media platform, QQ’s messaging app, as well as music, real-time traffic conditions and streaming radio
Ford is further enhancing AppLink capabilities for developers. A new Send Location feature allows an app to integrate directly with the vehicle navigation system to provide seamless operation without the user having to touch his or her phone.
Debuting on Glympse, the vehicle automatically recognizes if a driver is actively sharing the real-time location via the app. SYNC AppLink will ask if the driver would like to be routed to that destination. The driver can then press Yes to start turn-by-turn navigation.
Apple CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 and later models. It works by plugging in the iPhone via USB, then the CarPlay interface appears on the touch screen. Apple CarPlay features Siri voice control, and seamlessly integrates an iPhone with the car’s built-in display and controls.
The integration makes it easy to make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimized for traffic conditions and other features – all while keeping your eyes on the road.
Users of Android devices 5.0 and higher can bring their smartphone experience into their vehicle safely and easily. Convenient information, including Google Maps, Google Play Music and apps are projected onto the SYNC screen, offering seamless integration of the smartphone into the car. Google voice search answers any questions customers may have also while on the road.
SYNC: Nearly a decade of connectivity leadership
Ford SYNC is the world’s leading in-car entertainment and communications system, with more than 15 million vehicles on the road worldwide.
Launched in 2007, Ford SYNC was the industry’s first system to widely and most affordably offer voice-activated technology to control smartphones. The latest-generation system – SYNC 3 – features all-new hardware and software for faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, a smartphone-like touch screen, and easier-to-understand graphical interface for a growing number of Ford vehicles in North America.