Ford says SYNC® 3, its new communications and entertainment system, features faster performance; more conversational voice recognition; a more intuitive, smartphone-like touch screen and an easier-to-understand graphical interface.
It promises seamless integration of AppLink™ to control smartphone apps, Siri Eyes-Free for iPhone users, over-the-air software updates and subscription-free emergency calling with 911 Assist®.
Then there’s more conversational voice recognition, a more smartphone-like touch screen and easy-to-read graphics.
SYNC 3 will debut on model year 2016 vehicles in 2015 and be fully deployed in North America by the end of calendar year 2016.
“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,” said Raj Nair, Ford chief technical officer and group vice president, Global Product Development.
The new system should benefit from some 22,000 customer comments and suggestions, plus insights from research clinics, market surveys and tech industry benchmarking.
Ford says a new touch screen for SYNC 3 provides an experience similar to a smartphone or tablet, though the system has been optimized for hands-free use. It’s said to respond more quickly to touch as well as to voice commands; also to gestures like pinch-to-zoom and swipe.
“We considered all the modern smartphones and mobile operating systems and created something familiar but unique,” said Parrish Hanna, Ford global director of Human Machine Interface.
“While it carries with it some new features over its predecessor, SYNC 3 is not going to become a new benchmark for flashy wow-factors,” said Mark Boyadjis, Senior Analyst & Manager, Infotainment & HMI, IHS Automotive.
“This might not win over an Audi owner, but then again, Ford is most interested in taking share from Toyota, Honda, and Chevrolet. Those buyers are less impressed with glitzy name-brand chipsets and find more value in something they can understand the minute they take the keys from the dealer.”