LAS VEGAS — In what is expected to be a big week of automotive technology announcements for the automaker at CES this week, Ford has announced support for a variety of new apps for its SYNC service, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, AAA member services, Concur expense report tracking and Eventseeker to find nearby entertainment.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available on all 2017 models with SYNC 3, enabling smartphone access directly from the car’s dashboard display, regardless of which smartphone a user is carrying. Owners of 2016 models with SYNC 3 will be able to upgrade later this year.
CarPlay integration will allow the driver to access to Siri voice control, along with the ability to make calls, access music, send and receive messages and get directions through an iPhone.
Android devices allows smartphone apps like Google Maps and Google Play Music to appear on the SYNC screen, along with Google voice search capabilities.
In addition to iOS and Android smartphone integration, Ford SYNC AppLink allows applications to integrate with a car’s voice control system and utilize navigation data and the dashboard display.
Seattle-based Concur and Glympse are part of the first wave of SYNC AppLink apps. Concur users will be prompted by the SYNC system to ask if they would like to log a business trip. The app clocks mileage from the odometer and logs it in a journal for expense reporting.
For Glympse users, SYNC AppLink will recognize when a driver is sharing real-time location via the app and be asked if they would like to be routed to that destination via the car’s navigation system.
AAA members will also have new SYNC integration, using vehicle GPS data to access fuel prices, gas station locations and traffic data.
SYNC Connect is another new feature being added by Ford, enabling remote starts, door unlocking, fuel level checks and parked vehicle location via a smartphone. SYNC Connect uses an in-car 4G LTE connection to enable these services.
Numerous reports indicate that Ford and Google may launch a major new partnership around autonomous vehicles tomorrow morning at Ford’s CES press conference. GeekWire will be there, so check back tomorrow for more updates.