Don Butler, Ford Director of Connected Vehicles and Services, announced the deal during a speech, according to Automotive News. "We've obviously had a good, long relationship with Microsoft," he said. "Microsoft understands the automotive environment and the kinds of experiences that we'd like to enable."
The ability for Sync 3 to accept Wifi updates was announced as a major feature the new infotainment system, but this was the first mention of how that has been handled. Ford will host the files on Microsoft's Azure Cloud servers, according to Automotive News. Owners will need to give permission to check for new software, and they'll be notified after an improvement's installation. Dealers will install Wifi transmitters to keep vehicles on the lot up to date, as well.
Sync 3 is set to replace the much-maligned MyFord Touch later in 2015 on some 2016 model year vehicles, and by next year it should be available throughout the Ford and Lincoln lineups. In addition to the wireless updates, the new system also promises a simplified interface, better voice recognition and faster response times.
Ford and Lincoln owners will benefit from the convenience of new connectivity services keeping them better informed and in control of their vehicle at all times with the expanded availability of features like scheduled remote start, vehicle finder, and vehicle status (fuel or charge level, tire pressure).
Building the Ford Service Delivery Network (SDN) on the Microsoft Azure platform enables a common platform for Ford to bring new features and services to market faster, quickly scale up for global implementation, and remain flexible for the future. Starting later this year, the Service Delivery Network will first enable over-the-air software updates for SYNC 3. In the future, it will support the migration of our existing connected services, MyFord/MyLincoln Mobile, offering expanded, global availability.
As consumers shift toward more cloud-based services, the Ford SDN architecture is a strategic approach to stay up-to-date and ready for the future by making it easy to add or evolve features during the vehicle ownership period or offer new mobility solutions.