Ford and SYNC have combined to be the peanut butter and jelly of automotive tech combo deals. 80% of the vehicles Ford sells now has the infotainment system, helping the Blue Oval and Microsoft reach 1 million sales of the infotainment system in less than two years.
Since Microsoft created the SYNC software, it has just as much reason to celebrate its success as Ford. Microsoft CEO and Detroit native Steve Ballmer decided the best way to celebrate was to get his hands on SYNC vehicle number 1 million; a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. The 41 mpg sedan was delivered by none other than Ford CEO Alan Mulally.
Mulally reiterated his support of SYNC, saying that Ford would "continue to innovate and expand the capability of SYNC by integrating even more new technologies that fit our customers' lifestyles." SYNC already interfaces with navigation and entertainment systems, and 911 Assist helps call emergency services in the event of an accident. SYNC will receive further updates this summer when it gains the ability to deliver traffic, directions and information services. Hit the jump to view the Ford press release, and check out the gallery below to see Mulally deliver a 2010 Fusion Hybrid to the Microsoft CEO.
* SYNC hits million unit milestone; now offers 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Reports
* Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer takes delivery of a 2010 Fusion Hybrid, America's most fuel-efficient midsize car
* Purchase by Microsoft CEO underscores positive partnership of two powerhouse brands, Ford and Microsoft, joining forces to deliver affordable products consumers want
SEATTLE, May 26, 2009 – The popularity of Ford SYNC® reached a new milestone today, as Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally delivered Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer his new 2010 Fusion Hybrid equipped with the 1 millionth SYNC system, which is powered by Microsoft Auto software.
"We have made a commitment to deliver the vehicles that people really want and value," Mulally said. "The success of SYNC is another proof point that we are doing just that. We will continue to innovate and expand the capability of SYNC by integrating even more new technologies that fit our customers' lifestyles."
SYNC is Ford's fully integrated, voice-activated, in-car communications and entertainment system for mobile phones and digital music players. Since its debut in 2007 on the Ford Focus, SYNC has continued to gain in popularity. More than 80 percent of the vehicles Ford sells in North America are equipped with the system.
Like other advanced hardware and software solutions, SYNC continues to expand its applications. In 2008, SYNC was upgraded with two new applications, Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist™, and more are on the way.
Ford's latest SYNC application, Traffic, Directions and Information, will be available for download this summer. It will provide simple hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, precise driving directions and up-to-date information including business listings, news, sports scores and weather.
"Working with Microsoft and other key technology partners, we've made Ford the connectivity leader in the auto industry," said Jim Buczkowski, director of electrical and electronic systems. "We do not plan to stand still; we have several additional developments in the pipeline, including launching SYNC in Europe and around the world."
The 1 millionth SYNC equipped vehicle, a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, is only fitting, because the all-new sedan is the new benchmark in midsized sedans. The 2010 Fusion Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient midsize car in America, with a certified 41 mpg rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, topping the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway.