Will Ford's Sync lose ground to Fiat's Blue & Me?

It recognizes hundreds of voice commands. It will interface with your Bluetooth-enabled smart phone. It was co-developed with Microsoft. Sounds like Ford's popular SYNC tech, right? Sure does, but it also smacks of Fiat's Blue & Me system that has been in production in Europe since 2007. The technology will be available stateside when the tiny Fiat 500 goes on sale early in 2011. The cost? $500 in a base 500, and the system is standard on uplevel Sport and Lounge models.

Like the Fiat 500 itself, Blue & Me certainly sound compelling, but it's one small niche product in a sea of cars, trucks and crossovers. Perhaps more significant is the fact that Fiat's infotainment tech could be available in Chrysler products as early as 2012. And while B&M apparently doesn't do everything as well as SYNC, it also carries some advantages of its own. For instance, 500 Sport and Lounge buyers can shell out an extra $400 for an optional Tom Tom navigation system that interfaces with the voice command system. Fiat also enables drivers to download their driving habits to a USB stick and load it to a website called Eco:Ville. The site will process the data and give drivers tips for more efficient driving.

So will Blue & Me become as popular as SYNC? Who knows, but at the very least it's nice to see that competition for Ford's system is on the way.

2011 Fiat 500
2011 Fiat 500
View 13 Photos

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

Share This Photo X