SYNC® 3 Ready for Release with 2016 Ford Escape and Fiesta this Summer
Ford’s infotainment system has been overhauled and shows signs that the interface to the all-new SYNC® 3 communications and entertainment system software will be easier and safer to use. Major improvements include faster performance, conversational voice recognition, intuitive smartphone-like touchscreen, and a graphical interface that is easier to navigate. Other new features include Siri for Apple iPhone, software updates via Wi-Fi, and subscription free 911 Assist® in the event of a serious accident.
Automotive infotainment systems have a reputation for being distracting, difficult to learn, even harder to use, and an expensive option. Admittedly, they have been getting better with interfaces that are more intuitive, offer more capabilities, and have faster response times. Ford’s third generation SYNC 3 brings more capability and less chance of distracted driving with an easy-to-use voice recognition and a simpler command structure.
AppLink™ is the voice-activated technology used to control smartphones and makes it easy to select music, make a call, send a text message, or search for a destination. It enables quick and easy pairing of smartphones, and automatically discovers smartphone apps including Spotify, Pandora, Glympse, NPR One and iHeart Auto (iHeartRadio’s automotive app). Each app has their own unique graphics and branding for easy identification. The latest version of AppLink further improves the user experience with SYNC 3.
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.
While SYNC 3 is optimized for hands-free operation, the all-new capacitive touch screen works similar to a smartphone or tablet. The display is now faster with responses to touch and smartphone-like articulation such as pinch-to-zoom and swipe. Graphics are crisper and have a higher resolution. Tile icons are bigger and allow quick access to functions and apps.
As with earlier generations, SYNC 3 provides subscription-free emergency service 911 assistance. In the event of a significant accident, the Bluetooth-connected phone is used to call 911 and alert first responders with vehicle location. SYNC 3 also relays additional information – including if airbags were deployed, whether the crash is front, side, rear or rollover, and the number of seatbelts detected in use.
SYNC 3 now also features the ability to update software using a Wi-Fi hotspot. Once a vehicle is setup for access to a home’s Wi-Fi network, it can automatically download updates from the customer’s driveway or garage.
Ford’s all-new SYNC® 3 technology debuts this summer in North America on the 2016 Ford Escape and Fiesta.