Good news for Ford fans. Ford’s next-generation infotainment system arrives this summer. The SYNC 3 connectivity system will make its debut in the new 2016 Escape and Fiesta.
Sync, which hasn’t always gotten high marks from drivers since its 2007 launch, features some major updates this go-round. Ford says it completely revamped the hardware and software, making accessing smartphones safer, as well as easier. Plus, it comes with an enhanced touch screen with gesture control and better voice command recognition.
“SYNC always has been about providing a safer way for our customers to connect their smartphones in order to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Customers continue to tell us they want this technology, and they want this technology, and they want it to be fast and easy to use – like a smartphone, SYNC 3 delivers on that request,” says Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Company vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.
According to the Detroit News, Ford chose the Escape because it is one of Ford’s highest-volume vehicles, and the Fiesta because it is its most affordable car. It will come on all Ford vehicles in North America by the end of next year. The MyFord Touch name is gone, and so is partner Microsoft, ditched in favor of software from Panasonic and QNX.
The cars connect to smartphones using the AppLink system. This system automatically recognizes smartphone apps which can then be accessed through SYNC. Some of the compatible apps include Spotify, Pandora, Glympse, NPR One, and iHeartAuto. To take the guess work out of accessing apps, they are displayed on the screen with their unique recognizable logos.
For improved safety, there is newly enhanced conversational voice recognition. This system allow drivers to access and control their smartphones while keeping their eyes on the road. There is also a special connection system for iPhone called the Siri Eyes-Free system. This system allows drivers to use their iPhones in their car similar to the way they would in a regular Siri session. Later, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems will be integrated.
The SYNC 3 will continue to offer subscription-free emergency service 911 Assist. The system uses the connected phone to call 911 in the case of a significant accident. It then transmits the vehicles location to first responders so they can respond in an emergency.
Ford SYNC is now in more than 12 million vehicles on the road globally.
See SYNC in action in Ford’s video below.