• May 18, 2009
Click the image above to view a video of the new SYNC system after the jump

At the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Ford announced that three new features would be included on the next iteration of the SYNC system: traffic data, GPS-guided directions and the ability to snag information from the web through the user's data/GPS/Bluetooth-enabled smartphone to display or read weather conditions, sports scores and other information through the stereo.

On May 26th, the upgrade will be made available to all current 2010 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury owners (you download the update to your PC, then transfer it to the SYNC system through a thumb drive) and all new 2010 models will be equipped with the upgrade from the factory. But as Ford CEO Alan Mulally promised, there's more on the way.

Ford and Microsoft plan to continually update SYNC, and according to Charlotte Fisher from Ford's Design and Technology team, "every six to eight to twelve months we'll be delivering new services." One of the possible features Ford could include on future iterations of SYNC is streaming internet radio, and Fisher confirmed that Ford is currently "talking with Pandora." Can you say XM-killer? Hit the jump to watch a video of the new system in action.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      Best thing from Ford ?



      Kinda cool how you get all that including the NAV, all without a screen
      Quantumphysics
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you connect your iPhone directly to your car's stereo, you can stream from Pandora or AOL radio to the car. But personally, despite I have a 3G iPhone, a car with a 6 disk changer that also reads MP3's, I'm content just listening to 1 MP3 CD at a time for the time being.

      Im not interested in paying for XM.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Quantumphysics
        If you have one of many Nokia phones (including the N95) with Bluetooth streaming you can stream Pandora, Last.fm, etc. from 3G data through the A2DP Bluetooth connection from your phone to your stereo without having to make a physical connection.

        Six mp3 discs isn't enough for me. My Nissan has an mp3 six disc changer, but I always find myself wanting to listen to music that isn't on a disc in the car. Since my Nissan has Bluetooh, but doesn't have A2DP, I am stuck with using the Aux jack to play mp3s from my phone. But, at least I get 16 GB on my microSD card to store the music. Or, I can always listen to Last.fm.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Quantumphysics
        I don't think anyone is interested in paying for XM anymore.

        And having control of your music streaming from your radio lets you use your steering wheel controls and integrate it nicely with your deck.

        Having to look at your cell phone to switch stations is kind of a pain in the ass, and soon in Ontario, can cost $500 if you get caught.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Has anyone tried to hack Sync?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I listen to Pandora when i just want to hear music, but XM is where I can hear Howard Stern, Opie and Anthony, Michaelangelo Signorile, and Ed Schulz. There's more to radio than just music.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I used to listen to talk radio, then I discovered podcasts. I'm done paying $150 a year to listen to commercials.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not for me. I can't stand talk radio or commercials. I just want non stop music. That's why I like Pandora. Even when I listen to regular FM, I switch the channel as soon as commericals come on.

        I currently stream it in my car through my phone and my aux jack. It's nice, but I don't have a 3G phone, so it can hang up sometimes and the quality isn't as good as a CD or even an MP3. The Pandora mobile service is free, but you need to have data on your phone plan and I pay $20 extra a month for it (on Sprint) and Pandora is really all I use it for, so I just dropped data off of my plan for next month.

        Sync is awesome though. I had it in a rental Focus for a day and loved it with my Zune. As someone else said, this is a game ender for infotainment systems, Sync wins, hands down.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The downfall with this is that knowing Microsoft, it will only work with windows mobile phones, which universally suck to use and are not consumer-friendly in any way.

      If they somehow make it work with all the major smart phone players, then (and only then) it will be a big deal.

        • 5 Years Ago
        "The downfall with this is that knowing Microsoft, it will only work with windows mobile phones, which universally suck to use and are not consumer-friendly in any way."

        right, just like how SYNC doesn't work with iPods.

        Oh, wait...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cool. Not necessarily an XM replacement, but it's definitely complimentary. Pandora is great for finding new music you might like, because you literally tell it "I like this" or "I don't like this" and it tries to find new stuff that fits your feedback. I've found several new bands I never would have discovered otherwise, and bought their albums. It'd be cool to be able to do this on my commute.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow! That system is awesome!

      This system is END GAME for so many competitors!

      So cool...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Very true but in the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing - First to Game Means #1 if you pay attention to the other 21 Immutable Laws of Marketing, which Ford is doing!

        What will be the most widely used response to this question?

        "Who sells a car that can sync my ipod, cell phone and electronics"

        The answer will ring on for a looong time... Hence, end game! I only say end game to be dramatic and because by the time anyone else gets to market, it will be fairly well known that it's a Ford feature.... Anyone else will be saying "Hey we have Sync now too" or "Hey we have OnStar too". You say it and it makes you think about the company that started it!

        Try this out....Here's some word association! It's test! Don't read the answers below! Answer them first with the first answer that comes to mind. This is cool!

        Name a Hamburger Seller ____________
        Name a Cola / Soda ______________
        Name a Car Rental Company ______________
        Name an MP3 player _______________

        Now... Did you answer them? Good, no cheating!

        9 out of 10 times the answers will be as follows!

        "mcdonalds, coca cola, hertz, ipod"

        So competition or not, it's in your head forever... So yeah, it's not literally end-game, but it will certainly be a feature attributed to Ford.

        • 5 Years Ago
        @ sk: Actually SK that exclusive contract was up a while ago. Hyundai/Kia has been working on their version of SYNC for quite some time and will roll it out on 2010 models (so I've read).

        Having said that, the enhancements that Ford has made ..... 9-1-1 Assist, Turn-by-Turn Nav, Vehicle Health Reports, etc are Ford specific. So while Hyundai will have access to the OS per say, the two systems will not be the same.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But you know its made by Microsoft and the exclusive contract with Ford is soon to expire.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is what I was worried about with the SYNC system. Every year they are going to add new stuff into the system, that is not available as an update on the older ones. So in 2011, they will add more features people want, but everyone who bought the car the previous year is out of luck. I love my SYNC system, but I don't think it's possible for me to trade the car in every year for the new features. It's not a cell phone.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Good point. They may cut it off with the 2010 models. I understand that they implemented the version 3 hardware on the 2010 Fusion, for example, but I don't know if earlier models are compatible.
        • 5 Years Ago
        CoreyT, the upgrades can be installed via a USB drive. I suppose at some point they could charge for new releases or cut off older systems, but for now part of the beauty of the system is that it can be easily upgraded. Oh, and the SYNC upgrades are self-installable.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I can't find anywhere where it says older models will be able to work with the update. I checked that when the update was announced back at CES, it doesn't say either way. This article does say that current 2010 models can get the update. If all models could get it, I think it would say, all current models, or something. If I am wrong great, I would love to have the new features, but nobody has said the older cars can do it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, I have the basic version of Sync and I'm in love with it, Ford has really found a winner here

      Basically the only people who pay for XM get some special deal like '$20 for 5 months' or a year for $77. If you like baseball it's a good deal to get all the games, and have comedy, entertainment, music channels on top of that.

      But yeah, their future is not looking great. I hardly listen to the free trial in my car, the sound quality is garbage. I just stick in my thumb drive and go
      • 5 Years Ago
      my next car will probably be a Ford because of this. Ford is absolutely dominating infotainment now...with something that costs about $150 to build.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great! Now you can listen to the same 4 songs on road trips.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So wait... a car infotainment system powered by Microsoft and it does not crash... woooowwwwwwwwwwwwww....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Windows only crashes if you suck at using it.

        True story.
        • 5 Years Ago
        When it does, you just open and close the windows...

        (I know, old joke...)
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