Ford Sync 3 Will Team Up With Amazon’s Alexa!

A new collaboration between Ford and Amazon’s Alexa will let Sync 3 users have cloud-based voice service.

Ford’s Sync 3 will team up with Amazon’s Alexa – an industry in-car first by using the Ford Sync AppLink technology. This was just announced at the January 2017 CES show.

The Alexa integration will be the most comprehensive ever in a vehicle.  This allows users to play and resume audiobooks or order items on Amazon. They could search for and transfer local destination to the in-car navigation system, and more. From home, Ford vehicle owners will be able to remote start, lock or unlock doors, and get vehicle information using voice commands.

Ford plans to roll out this integration in two phases. The first in late Jan. 2017 connects you to your car from your home through Amazon devices such as Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap. The next phase, expected in summer 2017, allows you to tap into a broad set of Alexa skills using your voice while driving. This helps you keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

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Ford Sync 3 Launches in Summer 2015

Releasing first on the 2016 Fiesta and Escape models, the new Sync 3 is F-A-S-T!

Releasing first on the 2016 Fiesta and Escape models, the new Sync 3 is F-A-S-T!

Ford’s SYNC® 3 launches in the Fiesta and Escape models – available in late summer 2015 – with an all-new communications and entertainment system.

The new system, available as an option, features faster performance, conversational voice recognition, intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface.

Other new features include seamless integration of AppLink for a simple way to control smartphone apps, Siri Eyes-Free capability for Apple iPhone, software updates via Wi-Fi, and enhanced 911 Assist® for subscription-free emergency calling in the event of a significant accident.

SYNC 3 to launch in North America on 2016 Ford Escape and Fiesta – on sale late summer 2015 – providing a safer way for Ford customers to connect their smartphones while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

With the debut of SYNC 3 for Escape and Fiesta, Ford is launching its newest in-car connectivity technology as an option in one of its highest-volume vehicles, Escape, and in its most affordable car, Fiesta.

SYNC 3 features all-new hardware and software, building on the capability of the industry-leading technology that launched in 2007. Ford SYNC is now in more than 12 million vehicles on the road globally. Click here to see SYNC 3 in action.

“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,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Company vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Customers continue to tell us they want this technology, and they want it to be fast and easy to use – like a smartphone. SYNC 3 delivers on that request.”

Ford SYNC – the industry’s first system to widely and most affordably offer voice-activated technology to control smartphones – is becoming more capable by minimizing the number of steps needed to carry out commands. Selecting music, making a call or searching for a destination is easier than ever, thanks to SYNC 3’s simpler command structure.   Users will be able to access Siri on their iPhones directly from the steering wheel controls.

Ford was first to bring voice control to in-vehicle apps with AppLink™, and the experience is further improved with SYNC 3. AppLink™ was not available on the newer MyFord Touch system and didn’t get to be used by a lot of Ford owners.

The new SYNC 3 is an app-based program, which is a departure from the earlier Sync version. AppLink allows customers to connect their smartphone to their vehicle and control compatible apps using voice commands or buttons on the vehicle display screen.

AppLink automatically discovers smartphone apps including Spotify, Pandora, Glympse, NPR One and iHeart Auto (iHeartRadio’s automotive app), and displays each app’s unique graphics and branding. Music and news apps are automatically displayed along with other media sources – just like AM/FM or SiriusXM.

Additionally, when connected to an Apple iPhone, SYNC 3 offers seamless integration of Siri Eyes-Free capability. Drivers can seek Siri’s help by holding down SYNC’s Push to Talk steering wheel button – much as they would on an iPhone to initiate a Siri session.

SYNC 3 is optimized for hands-free use. Plus, the all-new capacitive touch screen technology offers an experience similar to a smartphone or tablet. Quicker response to touch, as well as voice commands and smartphone-like gestures including pinch-to-zoom and swipe are central to SYNC 3 – along with crisp, modern graphics.

On-screen complexity is reduced and control options used most are prioritized. The home screen features three zones – Navigation, Audio and Phone. Tile-like icons dominate, with a quick access function tray along the bottom making for a more straightforward user experience.

Phone contacts are searchable via a simple swipe of the finger to scroll through the alphabet. With One Box Search, users can look up points of interest or enter addresses in much the same way they use an Internet search engine.

As with earlier generations of the technology, SYNC 3 provides subscription-free emergency service 911 Assist®.

The customer’s Bluetooth-connected phone is used to dial 911 in the event of a significant accident – alerting first responders with vehicle location. With SYNC 3, the car relays additional information – including if airbags deploy, whether the crash is front, side, rear or rollover, and the number of safety belts detected in use – to help emergency call-takers dispatch appropriate resources to the scene.

SYNC 3 now also features the ability to update software 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, it can automatically download updates. Existing Ford owners may have the “basic” Sync system, or the newer MyFord or MyFord Touch system, however those users will not be able to “upgrade” to Sync 3. This system will only be available as installed on new models. Ford plans to have the Sync 3 system available on all of its line – especially by 2017. See your Ford dealer for more details.

 

Ford introduces new Sync 3 system for some 2016 models

In 2015 Ford will bring a new, redesigned easier-to-use Sync system, and phase out the MyFord Touch system now in use.

In 2015 Ford will bring a new, redesigned easier-to-use Sync system, and phase out the MyFord Touch system now in use.

By Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist

Ford will introduce a new communications and entertainment system called Sync 3 on some 2016 models, and more will come on line in 2017.

Sync® 3 promises to reduce on-screen complexity, offer easier-to-use voice commands and changes to the control options for users. This new approach brings the Sync system in-line with typical smartphone commands and usage features.

Additionally, the new system will drop the Microsoft partnership and move to the Blackberry QNX system. A new Texas Instruments system-on-a-chip will bring noticeably improved response and processing times.

So the promise of Sync 3 is to offer faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, a more intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface to help Ford customers connect and control their smartphone on the road.

Initial photos and videos showing the new system reveals that the new system understands more conversational voice commands and allows functionality more like a tablet or smartphone.

Ford will also offer seamless integration of AppLink™ for a simple way to control smartphone apps.

Plus they will offer the addition of Siri EyesFree capability for iPhone users.

Also you’ll be able to get over-the-air software updates using Wi-Fi – which will allows easier updates.

Finally, it will offer enhanced 911 Assist® that provides subscription-free emergency calling in the event of a significant accident.

The Ford Sync system was first introduced eight years ago – the same year the iPhone was introduced.

Ford’s new SYNC® 3 system is a communications and entertainment system that is faster, more intuitive and easier to use with enhanced response to driver commands. SYNC 3’s more conversational voice recognition technology, a more smartphone-like touch screen and easy-to-read graphics will help millions of drivers connect with their lives and control their smartphone while on the road.

The next-generation system builds on the capability of SYNC technology already in more than 10 million SYNC-equipped vehicles on the road globally. With the earlier versions, some users just weren’t getting the most out of the system. Many claimed the system was impossible to use, but maybe the real issue is that some users were familiar with smartphone commands and those commands didn’t create the same results on the Sync system.

“Ford is delivering an easier way for customers to stay connected,” said Raj Nair, Ford chief technical officer and group vice president, Global Product Development. “SYNC 3 is another step forward in delivering connectivity features customers most want, and they tell us this kind of technology is an important part of their decision to buy our vehicles.”

Ford took a customer-centric approach in developing SYNC 3, drawing on 22,000 customer comments and suggestions, plus insights gleaned from research clinics, market surveys and tech industry benchmarking.

Since there are multiple Microsoft-based platforms that have been offered throughout the Ford system for many years, it is unclear if the older systems could be updated. Most likely, Ford customers will have to buy a new vehicle to get the newest infotainment system.

Ford is delivering MyFord and MyFord Touch Sync system currently. With the roll out of 2016 models (later in 2015), the new Sync 3 system will be available. Look for more stories in the next few months that will focus on this new system.