Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system is about to get smarter as the Blue Oval company has revealed at CES in Las Vegas this week plans to implement a new AppLink capability. From the 2018 model year onwards, owners will be able to project a smartphone’s navigation app straight onto the car’s touchscreen display. The very popular Sygic app is going to lead the way, so those 150 million smartphone owners that are currently using the nav software and are going to buy a 2018MY Ford will be able to take advantage of the extra connectivity.
Getting the two to work together will be a piece of cake. You’ll simply have to pair the smartphone to the car by using a USB cable. After that, you will no longer be able control Sygic on your smartphone as the app will effectively work on SYNC 3’s touchscreen. Ford hopes this new feature will reduce distractions behind the wheel by not having to pick up the smartphone and look at it. Don Butler, executive director of Ford Connected Vehicle and Services says:
“Our new SYNC AppLink mobile navigation capability will help keep drivers’ eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel while using the apps that they love.”
Although only Sygic is going to be available initially, Ford says developers can easily modify their smartphone apps to make them compatible with SYNC 3 by simply incorporating the AppLink software available on the official Ford Developer Program site.
On a related note, we should remind you Ford is joining forces with Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru), Mazda, PSA Group, Suzuki, and Toyota to establish a partnership in a bid to improve connectivity between smartphones and infotainment systems. The “SmartDeviceLink Consortium” will want to go up against the two established players in this field: Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay.
Short demonstrations of how Sygic is controllable straight from SYNC 3 can be checked out in the videos below.
Gallery: Ford SYNC 3 with Sygic nav
FORD INTRODUCES SYNC APPLINK SMARTPHONE-TO-DASH PROJECTION FOR NAVIGATION APPS; SYGIC FIRST TO LAUNCH
- New mobile navigation capability for Ford SYNC® 3 AppLink™ projects smartphone apps directly to the vehicle touch screen
- Sygic Car Navigation app is first to offer new capability providing control via touch screen
- New SYNC AppLink mobile navigation capability will launch on 2018 Ford vehicles
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4, 2017– Ford is introducing new SYNC® AppLink™ capability that will project navigation apps directly from a smartphone to the vehicle touch screen. Sygic Car Navigation is first to take advantage of the new capability.
“Ford understands how customers are using their smartphones, so it’s important we offer them more choice in how they connect and control their capabilities in the car,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. “Our new SYNC AppLink mobile navigation capability will help keep drivers’ eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel while using the apps that they love.”
According to a 2015 study by Pew Research Centre, two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone users. Of more than 1,600 who participated in the study, 67 percent said they use their smartphones at least occasionally for turn-by-turn navigation when driving, while 31 percent frequently use navigation apps via their smartphones.
When a smartphone is paired to the vehicle via USB cable, control of the Sygic app is removed from the device. The app is automatically projected to the vehicle touch screen making the navigation app more convenient to manage. The technology aims to reduce a driver’s urge to pick up and look at a mobile device.
Sygic is the first mobile navigation app to take advantage of Ford AppLink capability to move mobile navigation from the phone screen to the in-vehicle touch screen. Sygic technology is used by 150 million smartphone owners across the globe, and is available in more than 200 countries and about 40 languages. The Sygic Car Navigation app is optimised to work seamlessly with Ford SYNC 3 – giving drivers more choice in how they navigate.
“Sygic is committed to exploring the boundaries of navigation, a philosophy that directly contributes to our enduring reputation as the leader in navigation for connected cars,” said Sygic CEO Michal Štencl. “We look forward to unveiling premium new cutting-edge features and further developments as part of our global relationship with Ford.”
The new SYNC AppLink mobile navigation capability will launch on 2018 Ford vehicles. SYNC AppLink provides drivers with the ability to control compatible smartphone apps using their voice or the in-vehicle touch screen. Developers can easily make their smartphone apps compatible with SYNC by downloading and integrating the AppLink software from the Ford Developer Program website.