• Video
  • Feb 29th 2012 at 5:31PM
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Most of us don't quite understand why we'd want Facebook in our cars, but during a recent Hackathon at Facebook's Palo Alto campus, the Blue Oval and the new Big Blue combined forces to go beyond status updates and photos sharing.

In an effort to make a truly "social" car, devs from Facebook held one of their monthly Hackathons that incorporates some of the social giant's most popular apps into Ford's SYNC system.

The all-nighter bred a handful of integrated apps that allowed you to check-in somewhere as soon as you parked your car, find a restaurant that one of your friends "liked" and even automatically stream songs that your friends have posted on their walls.

You can get a taste of what came out of the event in the video after the jump.

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Making the Car Social...Again.

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 29, 2012 – At Ford, we've been facilitating social connections for more than a century. Just as Facebook wasn't the first social network, Ford didn't produce the first car. But, what Henry Ford and his team did was take a smarter approach by creating reliable and affordable transportation that put millions of people on the road around the world, thereby connecting more people with each other.

The mobility enabled by the car allowed people to get together with friends and family over greater distances and with more frequency than ever before, a trend that has continued to evolve for more than 100 years.

And now, Facebook is redefining what it means to socially connect by offering hundreds of millions of people the ability to connect with their friends, family and other interesting people, no matter where in the world they are.

In fact these online connections have become so pervasive that many young people are more interested in having a data-enabled smartphone than a driver's license. Thilo Koslowski, lead automotive analyst for Gartner, recently told the New York Times, "Mobile devices, gadgets and the Internet are becoming must-have lifestyle products that convey status. In that sense these devices offer a degree of freedom and social reach that previously only the automobile offered."

While not everyone is more interested in Facebook than driving just yet, the trend is clear that people are connecting and sharing online more than ever. Researchers and developers at Ford understand that customers are increasingly bringing that online social experience into their car via the smartphone.

In order to explore what these converging trends mean to the customer, Ford and Facebook engineers got together and held a 24-hour "Hackathon" at Facebook's Palo Alto campus looking at ways to socialize the car. The teams of hackers worked through the night to prototype some ideas that were demonstrated to the entire group at the end of the event. The best of those ideas are now being further developed in Ford's Dearborn labs.

Over the past five years, Ford has enhanced mobile connections with the award-winning SYNC® connectivity system that is now installed in more than 4 million vehicles. SYNC lets drivers listen to their favorite tunes, answer calls, get directions and more using simple voice commands while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel, providing a safer solution for the smartphone revolution that is now being brought into our cars.

Today, SYNC is great if you know what song you want to listen to or where you want to go. But what if you want to expand your audio, cultural or culinary horizons? While Facebook enables people to stay in touch with their friends, the social content generated by users actually makes it far more than just a simple communications tool.

Imagine if SYNC could leverage all of the information from you and your friends put on your Facebook timelines to make your drive more personalized? Instead of just asking for a nearby restaurant list from your navigation system, the restaurants presented could actually be ones that have been "liked" by your friends. Or you could ask if your friends are nearby and request navigation to their location. How about listening to the same stream of music that your friends are "DJ'ing" from the comfort of their own home?

And, why shouldn't your car work for you to make your life more convenient? If you're on your way to an appointment and running late, SYNC could automatically notify your friends with an estimated time of arrival. Then, upon arrival, SYNC would automatically "check-in" to your location.

When someone is behind the wheel, the first priority will always be to remain focused on driving and making it safely to your destination. But, at a time when consumers are starting to prioritize Internet access over access to a car, we need to explore what that means for car ownership. By safely blending Facebook connections with the power of SYNC, Ford could extend the social experience and use it to once again revolutionize your time behind the wheel.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think this is very bad idea....!!!!((privacy issue)) 2 much facebook in this world!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love SYNC, I have it in both of my cars. 2012 Focus Titanium (MyFord Touch) and 2012 Ford Fiesta SEL (SYNC with SYNC Services) but my job day in and day out is a SYNC Specialist for Gullo Ford in Conroe, Texas. I have the delivery process down great for my customers but more and more technologies is making the car a technology marvel. With the MyFord Touch System it can prove to be overwhelming to most but when does it stop? Ford - fix current issues, release MFT 3.0, make is damn near perfect then I will support you in advancement in technologies.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a bad idea. The more tech crap Ford tries to squeeze into their cars, the less it will work - doesn't anyone remember how they botched MyFord touch? They still haven't gotten the software fix out for current owners yet.
      • 3 Years Ago
      whats wrong with just using your smart phone to check out your facebook and for a gps. I am in the auto repair business and it is getting more & more high tech. that the manufactures are building the independent shops out of the market. Glad retirement is around the corner! And I will continue to use my lap top or smart phone for the social agenda.
      • 3 Years Ago
      meant, 'I'll do' not due......
      Ronnie Daniel Yapo
      • 3 Years Ago
      I agree with some of the post about fixing what they have now before they try and improve sync. Ford. , I'm still waiting for my Usb update.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is getting way overblown. Just give me a car with a good stereo system, media inputs and bluetooth and I'll due the rest with my smartphone thank you very much.....and not pay the car manufacturer a bundle for his 'bundle'.
      • 3 Years Ago
      stupid Ford execs fawning over more random marketing ideas... how 'bout: selling us the Falcon? selling us the Fiesta RS? lots of good ideas out there... not a whole lotta follow thru