• May 31, 2009
SYNC has given Ford a much-needed technology boost. The infotainment device provides motorists with features such as voice-controlled integration with MP3 players and automatic calls to emergency services in the event of an accident. For the 2010 model year, SYNC adds GPS hardware, giving owners access to traffic, directions, and information.

SYNC TDI works through your Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone to deliver real-time traffic information and turn by turn directions. SYNC TDI can also be personalized to deliver real-time updates of sports scores, weather, entertainment news and more. There is no subscription fee, either, because SYNC TDI uses your existing phone service, which you're already paying for.

This update is now available at syncmyride.com for owners of SYNC-equipped 2010 model-year Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models. The download only works with vehicles that aren't equipped with Ford's voice-activated navigation system.

To update your SYNC, load the SYNC TDI to a thumb drive, then start your car and plug into the USB port. SYNC will give you two completion notices; at one minute and again within 10 minutes. Once the download is complete, you have to reconnect your USB device to your computer, Log into syncmyride.com, and register the successful download. It's a bit of a bulky process to get SYNC TDI operational, but we're guessing real-time traffic, weather, sports, and directions will be worth your trouble. Hit the jump to pore over Ford's detailed press release.

[Source: Ford]

PRESS RELEASE:

NEW FORD SYNC APPLICATION - TRAFFIC, DIRECTIONS AND INFORMATION - READY FOR FREE DOWNLOAD

SUMMARY:

* Current owners of early-launched 2010 vehicles equipped with Ford SYNC now can visit www.syncmyride.com and download and install the latest application – Traffic, Directions and Information (TDI) – at home for no additional cost
* SYNC TDI connects a customer's Bluetooth-enabled cell phone to Ford's Service Delivery Network voice portal delivering turn-by-turn driving directions, real-time traffic, business searches and favorite news, sports and weather – all through simple voice commands
* Eligible customers can download this latest SYNC application similar to the way they would download a song from an online media store such as Apple's iTunes
* TDI will be available on all 2010 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles equipped with SYNC, including the all-new Ford Taurus, which arrives in dealerships this summer
* SYNC, when available as an option, retains its retail price of $395, and includes a GPS receiver new for the 2010 model year; TDI services come with no monthly subscription fees for the first three years of vehicle ownership

CONTEXT / BACKGROUND:

Consumers continue to be fascinated with upgradeable, take-it-with-you technology. It started with Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs), which showed incredible promise due to their affordability and convenience. But then came the PC-like Smartphone, which bundled cell phone, Internet, navigation and other must-have data services, and consumers fell in love all over again.

But despite their affordability, popularity of PNDs is decreasing. According to iSuppli Corporation, a market research and consulting firm specializing in electronic value chains, PND's share of device shipments will decline to 30 percent by 2011 from about 50 percent in 2007.

Meanwhile, navigation-enabled mobile devices such as Smartphones will grow to account for 36 percent of total navigation system shipments by 2011. But even Smartphones don't offer customers in-vehicle integration and control of navigation capabilities. That's where Ford steps in.

The latest Ford SYNC application, Traffic, Directions and Information (TDI), ties together the advantages of both technologies, brings in even more options, and offers it in an affordable, widely available package. SYNC TDI leverages a customer's existing mobile phone; includes an integrated GPS receiver to connect customers to real-time turn-by-turn driving directions, traffic reports and business searches; offers extra features and applications such as favorite news, sports and weather; and provides seamless voice-control of all these functions while in the vehicle – at no subscription cost for the first three years of vehicle ownership.

DETAILS:

Current owners of early-launched 2010 Ford Mustang, Fusion, Fusion Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ, and Mercury Milan and Milan Hybrid vehicles equipped with Ford SYNC® now can visit www.syncmyride.com and download the latest application – Traffic, Directions and Information – at no cost.

Eligible vehicles must be equipped with SYNC, but not equipped with Ford's voice-activated navigation system. These vehicles are outfitted with the supporting GPS receiver needed to run SYNC with Traffic, Directions and Information.

The SYNC application is an industry standout, where most add-on applications or services for consumer electronics, such as iPhones, have a fee attached.

Easy Downloading
Eligible vehicle owners can download the free software from www.syncmyride.com to a USB drive and then upload the application to their vehicle via the SYNC system's USB port in their car. Customers also can have the application installed at their local Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealership.

The online download can be found in the Update & Customize section on www.syncmyride.com and is simple to complete, just like grabbing a online song for your digital music player. Once the software is downloaded to the USB drive, in-car installation takes about 10 minutes. The vehicle must be running to begin, and users will receive two completion messages – one approximately 60 seconds into the process and another 5-10 minutes later – for proper installation.

Once the upload is complete, customers must reinsert their USB drive back into their computer to report successful installation on www.syncmyride.com, and then log back into their SYNC account to activate the application.

A Voice Command Away
Ford has partnered with Microsoft and other recognized companies – INRIX, TeleNav, TellMe, M/A-COM and Airbiquity – to enable the new Traffic, Directions and Information voice-activated services to seamlessly connect to real-time data via a customer's Bluetooth-enabled phone – no integrated touch-screen navigation system or unsightly suction-cupped PND required.

The simple voice command, "Services" gets the driver started, with the MicroSoft TellMe voice portal interpreting this request and ready to route it to the appropriate network partner.

Users who say "Traffic," for example, literally can receive personalized traffic reports based on best-in-class content from INRIX, a company that gathers real-time speeds, directions and locations from nearly 1 million commercial trucks and cars driving America's roadways.

In a text message sent to the user's phone and broadcast over the vehicle's audio system in real-time, drivers get the location and severity of accidents or new road construction causing areas of heavy congestion.

Drivers requesting directions can use a variety of search criteria including a 14-million-plus business directory to find their destination, be it a favorite coffee shop or the location of a business meeting. Drivers can say "Search near me" or the name of the business and then say "Connect me," "directions" or "text me the info."

If a user answers "directions," a turn-by-turn route is downloaded from partner Telenav and is spoken to the user over the vehicle's audio system and displayed on the central information display near the radio. All directions incorporate real-time traffic information therefore always providing the best route to the driver.

With this new SYNC application, drivers can also personalize and categorize their favorite media topics, such as sports, weather and news using voice commands or through www.syncmyride.com. Users, for example, can personalize:

* Sports reports featuring scores and highlights for any professional or college team
* Current weather conditions and forecasts based on city, state or zip code
* News of all types – entertainment, business, top stories and technology

The new capabilities are in addition to SYNC applications that 2010 vehicle owners already have been enjoying including hands-free, voice-activated cell phone and digital media player integration as well as the security and convenience applications 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report.

Service Delivery Network
SYNC TDI is built on the Ford Service Delivery Network, a plug-and-play architecture that gives customers the ability to use a mobile device they are comfortable with – in this case a simple Bluetooth-enabled cell phone – to access best-in-class offerings from the mobile electronics industry.

This network also gives Ford the power to mirror successful online digital stores, delivering value-add SYNC applications and updates through friendly and familiar software delivery methods – something no other automaker can claim.

More importantly, the network makes these applications and services available to a wider range of customers and products. Customers that purchase more entry-level vehicles like the Ford Focus, where a navigation systems is not an available option, can now enjoy integrated capabilities such as turn-by-turn navigation through the affordable SYNC system.

The concept of building a flexible, upgradeable service delivery network that takes the latest and greatest from the electronics world and appropriately applies it to the car has made SYNC a technological differentiator for Ford – and a market success. There are now 1 million SYNC-equipped Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles on the road.

The upcoming full launch of SYNC TDI on nearly all 2010 model year Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles will build on that momentum, with internal studies showing that roughly 1 in 5 non-Ford owners saying they would be much more likely to consider a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury product because of the breadth of features offered with this latest SYNC application.

And Ford's aggressive plan to further expand SYNC's capabilities, as well as the way drivers interface with their vehicles, will continue to parallel the fast-paced world of consumer electronics


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  • 44 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Go Ford!
        • 5 Years Ago
        +1
        • 5 Years Ago
        I used to be the biggest Ford hater. My late father's '94 Explorer was hemorrhaging oil from every seal after 75K miles of religious maintenance and gentle driving. The dealership told him he could either put a quart of oil in every week forever or plan on a total rebuild. The Explorer gave its life saving mine in a rollover accident a few years later when a young driver didn't understand how an unprotected left turn works and turned in front of me.

        Now, and this is coming from a multi Honda owner, all I can think about is a red 2010 Mustang with the track pack, no rear spoiler, and SYNC.

        Ford, If I still had my job you would not only have my newfound respect, you'd have my money too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Cameron, I'm in a very similar boat. I'm on my second Honda Civic, and if two years ago you would have asked me what my next car would be, I would have said a Honda. Today... I'm really eyeballing the new Fords.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I will agree, I HATED Fords with a passion (aside from a 68' Bullitt Mustang).. but getting out of school with no money, no job and not a lot of cash, I picked up an SVT Focus with 22k on the clock. The car has been wonderful, great gas mileage, plenty quick and doesn't feel like cheap car. It'll be retired soon, and more then likely replaced by the Fiesta with SYNC, or a dark green Mustang GT if I can rid myself of my 80 mile commute each day. Little improvements like this make my inner nerd smile... Nice Work!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does this upgrade work the all Fords with SYNC, or just the VERY LATEST ones, i.e. does it work for 2009 M.Y. Fords with SYNC? The article sort of implies "no". ???

      We have SYNC at work. Personally, I'm disappointed with it. It does not play nice with my iPhone, and won't register very many of my songs before crying "Uncle". It freezes up my iPhone nearly every time and I have to do a deep reboot.

      I find it "fiddly", and I'm very much a gadget guy.

      I wouldn't seek it out myself. I am not in love with it, in its current incarnation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ackbar, is there a trick to determine which version of the hardware you have?

        We have a Fusion at work, but I think it's a 2009, although it's quite new (only a few months old). I have to check on that.

        Thanks.

        • 5 Years Ago
        David, it requires SYNC 3 compatible hardware to work. The 2010 Fusion, for example, comes with compatible hardware, so it's a simple upgrade. The 2009 has an earlier version of the hardware which can't be upgraded to v3. The main difference, as I understand it, is that the version 3 hardware includes a built-in GPS (for the turn-by-turn directions) which is not part of the earlier versions.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Love it! You get better features for less money than an Accord, Camry, Malibu, Sonta or any other midsize car. I love the BLIS feature on Ford cars and trucks like the Fusion. Rearview cameras even in your mirror, great sound systems, fun to drive and not to mention Sync. What makes it better is how now new Ford models like the Fusion only have around 4 options per series. Simple and cheap.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Actually I heard that these features will be available on the older models in the future. The system would have to access the GPS receiver in the phone though so it's probably a lot harder to write and test that software than it is for hardware that already has a receiver as part of the packaging.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Supposed to be a reply for coreyt, it'd be nice if when I hit reply (even on the original poster's post) that it actually replied instead of coming up as a new post.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If only all automakers would allow upgrade to their systems by usb flash drive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      SYNC TDI? Sweet, a Bluetooth system with a turbodiesel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can someone tell ford USA that their interior design skills suck greasy balls? I mean, comon, we're living in 21st century fer christ sakes, black square buttons, greenish backlight and 8-based displays are so...1960s...dammit, american car manufacturers make cars that are not reliable, not convenient, not pretty, lately not even powerful enough... with a few exceptions to the rule here and there... gimme a reason they shouldn't all go bankrupt and rid the world of themselves...
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL

        or... was that meant seriously?
        • 5 Years Ago
        When you say so many, incorrect, blanket statements........... don't be surprised at the responses that you get.

        FYI, in all of Fords MCE's, redesigns, and new products, they are going to a blue lighting.

        Of course you would know this, if you bothered to read anything. If you don't want to bother yourself, then you will just continue to look like an uninformed ass.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ...the buttons are lit in blue... no!! wow!! the progress!!!

        the last ford-related car I've driven was 2009 mercury sable, had it for 10 days in new england winter - it was a nice car overall, even had LED lighting, but what can I say, still it was too fordish... bland and unexciting... for over 25K MSRP I can get a car that is at least twice nicer to sit in and more dynamic to drive.

        as to me being uninformed sheep... yeah, dude, that must be why I come to autoblog.com... weak...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Uh, the buttons aren't lit up, how do you know what color they are going to light in? Check out the Flex for example and you will see that the buttons are all backlit in blue (I haven't seen a 2010 Fusion yet).

        I'd also tell you to heed your own advice and actually check out a car made by Ford in the last two years and compare to the competition, the interiors are in many cases better.

        You are the prime example of the uninformed sheep who just buys up what they are told and doesn't do any research themselves. Then comes and posts on the internet laying down generalizations that are untrue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, the display in the picture is blue. Just like the "8-based" blue display used in the Accord, right above their black square buttons.

        http://automobiles.honda.com/accord-sedan/interior-photos.aspx (fourth picture)
        • 5 Years Ago
        actually, by greenish I meant the backlight of the buttons, and having driven quite a few of Motown creations (rented, would never buy one) and aforementioned Accord, personally, I'd take Accord's suave lighting accents and material's quality any day. Don't get me wrong, I think US automotive industry has produced a lot of great cars, but as a rule their interior design is inferior to Japanese or European.
      • 5 Years Ago
      so its a platform, and it has apps? That is AWESOME. just open up that api ford, you can do it...
      • 5 Years Ago
      GTFO.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is SYNC technology available in Europe? Sounds cool and interesting....
        • 5 Years Ago
        SYNC is the Ford name for it. When it shows in other cars, it'll have a different name.

        I know Ford has an exclusive for a while in North America, but to be honest, it takes car companies more than 2 years to design in a new radio anyway. And it's already been almost 2 years, right?
        • 5 Years Ago
        SYNC is made by Microsoft. So it's already available in some other cars (like the FIAT mentioned) and may be in others later.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @why not the LS2LS7?: To my knowledge Ford had exclisive contract with MS for SYNC for 2 years. Has it already expired?
        • 5 Years Ago
        SYNC is built on Windows for Automotive, which is made by Microsoft. As far as I know, the initial text to speech and hands-free calling stuff in SYNC v1 when it launched a year and a half or so ago was largely made by Microsoft, with help/input from Ford along the way. These new features in SYNC v2 and v3 are applications built on top of the Windows for Automotive platform SYNC uses, so even when the platform is put on other vehicles, only the earlier features will be available; as far as I know, Ford completely owns the rights to this new stuff (it's the difference between having Windows come with your computer and having Windows with iTunes, Google Earth and Firefox present).

        Last I heard, some of the SYNC stuff was being made for Europe, but these new v3 features are North America only for now (I think just by prioritization; they should be everywhere eventually).
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm pretty sure Fiat's "Blue & Me" is the same thing, or very, very similar.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sorry Ford, you've seriously lost some respect in my opinion. This is not available on anything other than the brand new models. So the loyal customers you've had that bought your cars with SYNC for the past few years are out of luck.

      Like I said before, SYNC is great, but not if it requires me to trade my car in for any new features.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a software upgrade that takes advantage of hardware features in Sync v3 - GPS. This update would be worthless to older SYNC systems anyway.

        Besides, it's like getting mad at Microsoft for putting new features in Windows 7 instead of just updating Windows Vista. They need to give you an incentive to upgrade.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am surprised that Apple is not entering the car field, they can easily out do Ford and Microsoft, everyone already has all their music on Ipod, many use Iphones, so it's only natural to use an Apple car system as well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dude, I think you're mistaking Apple for Sony.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sony doesn't run a open peripheral strategy. If they did then they wouldn't deny warranty claims from damages caused by unlicensed peripherals. The same as Microsoft does, see the Nyko Intercooler.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Unlike Apple, Microsoft designs things to work well with others. Apple focuses on proprietary designs which often struggle in feeble attempt to become the 'standard'.

        I have an iPhone but honestly that's because that's one area I would admittedly say Microsoft doesn't have a better operating system than the iPhone OS.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I thought Apple had something to do with Chrysler and uConnect...I could be wrong.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Didn't they help design something in a certain luxury car? I don't quite remember what exactly, but anyway unlike Microsoft, Apple doesn't exactly find it necessary to forray into every market possible.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think I recall reading that Apple is working with VW for the Up! Dont quote me on that though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        chconline:
        Like many blanket statements, yours is incorrect. I agree in the consumer device space Apple has been very controlling. Microsoft has been a bit better although creating Plays For Sure and then not using it on their own product was very annoying.

        In the consumer device space, Microsoft has been very controlling also. Look at the Xbox 360. They forbid games from supporting USB controllers. The only wireless headset allowed is theirs. The only force feedback steering wheel allowed is theirs. The only add-on hard drives allowed are their incredibly overpriced ones ($150 for 120 GB). You can only copy your save games to their own memory cards. Whereas Sony allows USB controllers (most notably the Rock Band and GH guitars), uses any Bluetooth headset, supports every force feedback steering wheel Logitech ever made, including once that are not Sony licensed. And you can install a $60 320GB HDD from newegg and use any USB stick you can find, if you want to use memory cards instead (like SD or Memory Stick) just plug in your favorite 20-in-1 reader.
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