This picture offers a vista of the SYNC system in action. Yes, I worked hard for this pun.
The huge impact that the SYNC system has had for Ford cannot be overstated. Talk about a killer app. Ford has shown the industry that technology, priced competitively, can motivate buyers. Ford executive Mark Fields has said that Ford models equipped with Sync sell twice as fast as the same cars without Sync. I have been extremely impressed with SYNC since it first entered the marketplace. It has only gotten better since then.
Hyundai/Kia will be offering SYNC-like technology in the near future. Fiat also uses Microsoft technology, called Blue & Me, in its vehicles. I expect Blue & Me to make its way into the new Chrysler/Fiat lineup.
The popularity of Ford SYNC® reached a new milestone today, as Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally delivered Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer his new 2010 Fusion Hybrid equipped with the 1 millionth SYNC system, which is powered by Microsoft Auto software.
“We have made a commitment to deliver the vehicles that people really want and value,” Mulally said. “The success of SYNC is another proof point that we are doing just that. We will continue to innovate and expand the capability of SYNC by integrating even more new technologies that fit our customers’ lifestyles.”
SYNC is Ford’s fully integrated, voice-activated, in-car communications and entertainment system for mobile phones and digital music players. Since its debut in 2007 on the Ford Focus, SYNC has continued to gain in popularity. More than 80 percent of the vehicles Ford sells in North America are equipped with the system.
Like other advanced hardware and software solutions, SYNC continues to expand its applications. In 2008, SYNC was upgraded with two new applications, Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist™, and more are on the way.
Ford’s latest SYNC application, Traffic, Directions and Information, will be available for download this summer. It will provide simple hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, precise driving directions and up-to-date information including business listings, news, sports scores and weather.
“Working with Microsoft and other key technology partners, we’ve made Ford the connectivity leader in the auto industry,” said Jim Buczkowski, director of electrical and electronic systems. “We do not plan to stand still; we have several additional developments in the pipeline, including launching SYNC in Europe and around the world.”
The 1 millionth SYNC equipped vehicle, a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, is only fitting, because the all-new sedan is the new benchmark in midsized sedans. The 2010 Fusion Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient midsize car in America, with a certified 41 mpg rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, topping the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway.