With our attachments to our mobile devices stronger than ever, it’s only logical that car manufacturers would make smart phone integrations a big part of their new models. Ford has been an early adapter when it comes to smartphones and has had integration technology at the forefront of all 2018 models and models moving forward. Here are some noteworthy integrations available with Ford.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
One of the first automobile manufacturers to integrate Android Auto and Apple CarPlay into every model, Ford is continuing with including these integrations in all new models. Allowing for operation of smartphone apps for navigation, text messaging, and music through the car’s dashboard touchscreen, steering-wheel buttons or voice commands, these features are quickly becoming must-haves for anyone looking to purchase a new vehicle. With Ford being the first full-line vehicle manufacturer to offer integration of both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the options are widespread.
Crowdsourced Mapping Data
A big step in technological integration is Ford’s new partnership with Waze. All 2018 Ford cars sporting the Sync 3 infotainment system will allow drivers to tap into crowdsourced mapping data. This means that the infotainment system built into the car will be able to offer up navigation services that can be easily interacted with on the big touchscreen, as opposed to one’s tiny mobile screen – which is both hard to use while driving, and illegal.
Waze is a smarter and more intuitive navigational service, as its crowdsourced data provides more up-to-date information on driving conditions, as well as optimal routes to one’s destination. Waze believes that this will not only help drivers navigate to their destination in the fastest way possible, but also the most economical, as speedier commutes make for less fuel consumption.
Improvements to Alexa
Apart from Ford’s announcement of adding Waze to its Sync infotainment system, the newest addition will be Amazon Alexa for iPhone users. While available in some cars at the moment, drivers with access have had a chance to experience it for themselves. Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, allows you to use the database as you would at home.
With Ford’s Sync 3, the 25,000 + skills built into Alexa are at your fingertips (or rather vocal chords). You can easily, and not distractedly, as Alexa to help you navigate to a specific destination, ask Alexa (through your phone) to remote unlock, start or lock your car.
Users have reported Alexa being extremely quick to respond. Alexa will remain on inside the car, regardless of any other apps open on the touchscreen, so if you need something later on in your ride, you can easily call on her to answer questions or help perform tasks, despite something else being displayed on the screen.
Adding Wi-Fi hotspots to its Sync 3 equipped vehicles for the 2018 models, Ford riders can connect up to 10 devices at a time to the onboard Wi-Fi. The signal is strong enough to reach devices up to 50 feet away from the car. Relying on AT&T for its Sync Connect data stream, new owners are given a free three-month subscription to begin with, with the purchase of their new Ford. The option is then available for them to add a data plan with AT&T to their car’s service.
Displaying Content from Phone to Screen
While some may argue that because everyone already has a smartphone that they regularly use, the addition of a touchscreen in a vehicle is arbitrary. Contrary to this though, is the reasoning behind Ford’s implementation of this very screen. Not only is using a handheld mobile device difficult while driving, with the tiny screen and unclear display, but it is also illegal to operate while driving.
With the ability to display a phone’s content onto the in-car touchscreen, the driver can easily use their smartphone in a safer and easier manner. Sync 3 has added this function, in its navigation-app-specific mirroring feature, which displays your phone content right onto the big screen for you. The Ford 150, for example, has seen this become one of its most popular features.
There’s lots to look forward to with Ford’s 2018 models, and our smartphones are front and centre, changing and improving the driver experience.