Ford drivers just say ‘I need a coffee!’ to find cafés as SYNC 3 comes to Europe
Ford Motor Company launched its new SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system in Europe, allowing drivers to control their connected smartphones, audio, navigation, and climate functions with more conversational voice commands.SYNC 3 features a redesigned 8‑inch touch screen and faster performance. Simply by pushing a button and saying “I need a coffee,” “I need petrol,” and “I need to park,” drivers can find nearby cafés, petrol stations or car parks, as well as locate train stations, airports, and hotels. The system then guides the driver to the selected destination via the navigation.
The system will be demonstrated for the first time at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on the new Kuga, which Ford also is revealing at the event. The company announced new apps for the system that can be voice-activated using SYNC AppLink, enabling drivers to earn money by transporting packages, to record and share audio clips, and to check the weather. SYNC 3 launches in Europe in the summer, starting with Mondeo, S-MAX, and Galaxy.
“Whether you are craving your morning cappuccino on your daily commute or covering the cost of a journey by transporting a package, SYNC 3 brings to life innovative new ways of staying connected on the move,” said Christof Kellerwessel, chief engineer, Electronic and Electrical Systems Engineering, Ford of Europe. “Designed to complement modern smartphones, with an intuitive touch screen, SYNC 3 understands more conversational speech, is faster, and offers an easier-to-read graphical interface.”
Ford SYNC already enables drivers of 15 million vehicles worldwide to voice-activate essential in‑car features. Now for SYNC 3, Ford has drawn on more than 22,000 comments, and insights gained from research clinics and surveys to ensure the new version is the most customer‑centric designed system to date.
Simplifying the user experience by putting the options customers use most at their fingertips – navigation, audio and phone – the system has been further improved through increased processing power and a reduction in the number of steps required for a command.
Ford has added compatibility with five additional languages* and more localised versions of the subscription‑free Emergency Assistance. In the event of an accident where the airbag has deployed or fuel shut off has occurred, Emergency Assistance utilises a Bluetooth paired and connected mobile phone to help vehicle occupants initiate a direct call to Emergency Services in the correct language for the region. Emergency Assistance alerts first responders with the vehicle location to help emergency call-takers send appropriate resources to the scene.
Starting this year, owners of SYNC 3-equipped vehicles will have more choice in how they access their smartphones in the car:
- iPhone users can activate Apple CarPlay, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car allowing drivers to make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimised for traffic conditions, and more while they stay focused on the road. The system is also compatible with Siri Eyes Free which allows for easy access to Siri with iPhones connected over Bluetooth
- Android™ users can activate Android Auto™. Android Auto makes apps and services that drivers already know and love, accessible in safer and seamless ways including Google Search, Google Maps and Google Play
Over-the-air software updates are automatically available via Wi-Fi, once a vehicle is set up with credentials for a home Wi-Fi network accessible in a customer’s driveway or garage.
SYNC 3 also enhances the driver’s experience using the Ford Service App by providing Online Traffic Information on the navigation map for better journey planning, adapting to changing traffic situations.
“With pinch-to-zoom and swipe gestures, plus the familiar one-box-search we know from internet search engines, SYNC 3 provides customers with an experience on the vehicle screen very similar to smartphone screens, and is easier and more intuitive,” Kellerwessel said.
Pioneering new apps
First introduced in Europe in 2013, Ford’s SYNC AppLink technology already enables drivers to voice-activate a wide range of smartphone apps, including ADAC, Audioteka, AUPEO!, Cityseeker by Wcities, Cyclops, DetektorFM, DIE WELT, Eventseeker by Wcities, Glympse, Goal Live Scores, Meople, n-tv, Radioplayer, Roald Dahl Audiobooks, Spotify and Wetter.de.
Now Ford is making five new apps available to drivers with the launch of SYNC 3, including the first in-car apps of their kind, MyBoxMan and HearMeOut.
Designed by FretBay, and catching the eye of Ford executive chairman Bill Ford at the SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge Dublin, MyBoxMan enables drivers delivering a package for others to earn around €5-8 for a typical five kilometre journey.** HearMeOut, a provider of hands-free voice-based social networking app, enables drivers to record 42‑second audio posts, share them on Facebook and Twitter, and listen to and like audio posts from people they follow.
“Drivers have never had access to apps like this behind the wheel. MyBoxMan and HearMeOut open up entirely new ways for drivers to stay connected and even earn money,” said Scott Lyons, business and partner development, Connected Vehicle and Services, Ford of Europe. “Like a ride request service for deliveries, MyBoxMan is breaking new ground in social shipping, making intelligent and efficient use of car and van capacity on trips that are happening anyway.”
Further new apps available for SYNC 3 include:
- AccuWeather, the, the provider in digital weather information, helps drivers to plan and time their trips around weather conditions, and giving advance warning of inclement weather with Superior Accuracy™. The patented AccuWeather MinuteCast® function uses an exact street address or GPS location to provide minute-by-minute precipitation forecasts, including information about precipitation type, intensity and duration
- Cadena Ser enables drivers in Spain to listen to the country’s most popular national radio station. The app provides voice control to access podcasts, shows, local stations, news and event listings on demand. Available in Spanish for iOS and Android
- Los 40 Principales is the most popular music radio station in Spain, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic. It plays top 40 contemporary hit music, including pop, rock and house. Drivers in Spain can use voice control to access podcasts and shows on demand. Available in Spanish for iOS and Android
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