At four years old, the original Ford SYNC is already a relic in the rapidly changing subculture of automotive connectivity. And it's being recognized as such.
In case you thought installing SYNC into Ford vehicles was a ho-hum-whatever affair, that's not the case – Ford puts a lot of thought into it. The Blue Oval's latest assembly line advance is to have SYNC's infotainment software installed into the 2011 Ford Edge via WiFi. Made possible by the the latest version of SYNC with WiFi access, the new process allows Ford to save money on parts and inventory by using a common module among vehicles in different cars and made in different plants. Aft
Ford SYNC 2011 demonstration – click above to watch the video
Ray LaHood, the Department of Transportation's boss, recently had the revelation that looking down at your phone for four seconds while behind the wheel means you're "driving the length of a football field without watching the road." The DoT goes on to claim that distracted driving took the lives of up to 6,000 Americans in 2008 alone, with many more severely injured. Ford knows the stats and believes that texting while driving should be banned, but at the same time, many of the company's vehicl
2011 Kia Sportage – click above for high-res image gallery
There are currently 19 million Sirius XM subscribers out there, and the vast majority of those cash-paying customers listen only in the car. Ford was among the earliest mass-market adopters of Sirius, as The Blue Oval made infotainment a big part of its vehicle strategy. But while Ford was an early passenger on the satellite bandwagon, another very popular technology could put the squeeze on pay-for-play radio.
Drivers of late-model Ford vehicles equipped with Sync Traffic, Directions and Information (TDI) will soon be able to plot out their routes using Google Maps on their home computer and then download turn-by-turn directions directly to the car. TDI is a recent addition that adds a GPS receiver which allows Sync equipped cars and trucks to provide directions even if the vehicle doesn't have the full map based navigation system in place.
Ford has just added a helpful new function to its 911 Assist SYNC app. Emergency services can now easily locate distressed motorists via a vehicle's GPS coordinates and call for assistance, thereby diminishing response times. Ford says that the service is completely free, and will show up on 2011 models equipped with MyFord and MyLincoln Touch, along with some SYNC-equipped vehicles. Don't think the new tech is a direct challenge to the General Motors equivalent, though.
Ford SYNC with Applink – Click above to watch the video after the the break
More tech in your car? Oh, that's inevitable. But automakers are trying to figure out the best way to implement it. There are two main architectures currently; tethered and embedded. Ford's SYNC is an example of a tethered tech-integration system that uses Bluetooth to connect to mobile devices consumers already own and carry with them. General Motors' OnStar system is an embedded setup that builds the technology into the car. Going forward, the consensus seems to be that we're going to see syst
Ford Sync makes friends with an Apple iPad – Click above to watch video after the jump
When Ford's Sync infotainment system went live in late 2007, the technology looked promising to us but we weren't ready to bet the farm that customers were going to adopt it in large numbers. Two and a half years later, Ford and partner Microsoft are celebrating the two millionth Sync system installed, which happened to go into a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. The rate of Sync adoption is increasing over time too, as the two millionth unit was installed less than one year after Ford hit one mi
MyFord Touch – Click above for high-res image gallery
If you knew that Big Brother someone who controls your paycheck was watching how you were treating his or her company-owned vehicle, would that knowledge alter the way you drive it? That exact functionality is available with the Crew Chief application of the Ford Work Solutions package, and initial reports are showing that employees driving Ford F-Series trucks equipped with the technology are using less fuel and driving more safely.
If you knew that Big Brother someone who controls your paycheck were watching how you were treating his or her company-owned vehicle, would that knowledge alter the way you drive it? That exact functionality is available with the Crew Chief application of the Ford Work Solutions package, and initial reports are showing that employees driving Ford F-Series trucks equipped with the technology are using less fuel and driving more safely.
Hands on with MyFord Touch and SYNC App Ecosystem – Click above for high-res image gallery
Here's another first for Ford after the revelation of its motion-capturing software: The Blue Oval will be the first to offer iTunes tagging through iPods on SYNC-equipped vehicles. Right behind the announcement of mobile Internet connectivity being added to SYNC, this will go along with the package of mobile apps the carmaker will reveal at CES next month.