Fiat Chrysler isn’t the only automaker kicking off the new year with connectivity news. Ford’s getting in the action, too, as the industry gears up for this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Monday, the automaker announced a bunch of upgrades to its Sync 3 system which includes equipping all 2017 models with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s also bringing 4G LTE to its vehicles through a new feature called Sync Connect. It will allow drivers to remotely start their cars, unlock their doors, check fuel levels and pinpoint where they parked their car, all via smartphone.
As for Apple Carplay and Android Auto, Ford says both will be available on all of its 2017 models which come with Sync 3. Owners of 2016 models with Sync 3 will receive an update later this year. CarPlay integration will give drivers access to Siri voice control, and allow them to make calls, access music, send and receive messages through their iPhone. Android Auto users will be able to access Google Maps and Google Play Music on their SYNC screen. They’ll also be able to use Google voice search.
The Ford Sync Applink is also expanding. It will now offer apps for AAA member services, Concur expense tracking and Eventseeker, a service which helps helps you find nearby entertainment. There’s also a new navigation app called Glympse. It will recognize when a driver is sharing real-time location through the app and ask if they would like to be routed to that destination. The Cityseeker app provides restaurant and sight-seeing information for more than 500 cities worldwide.
Ford says it has more than 15 million SYNC-equipped vehicles on roads around the world today. It expects that number to jump up to 43 million by 2020. That’s just four short years away folks.
Look for more connectivity news to come out of CES 2016 this week.