Ford has announced that it is to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all its 2017 vehicles through its SYNC3 platform.
Currently, Ford offers SYNC3 on only select 2016 vehicles, but intends to expand these offerings to include its entire fleet of cars and trucks.
In the past, Ford vehicles had been equipped with a variety of SYNC platform variants, but Ford wants to end this fragmentation and create a seamless experience across its product line. The move will also mean that all its vehicles will be able to receive over-the-air (OTA) software updates through the SYNC3 platform.
Drivers of the currently available 2017 models, such as the latest Escape, Fusion, Mustang and Explorer, will have access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can already enjoy the in-car technologies. They can use their iPhones (5 or newer) or their Android Lollipop (or higher) devices to access maps, music, messages and even third-party apps on their vehicles’ screens. Both systems give them access to voice commands, as well.
Ford also assures that the technology will be available in the forthcoming F-150, Focus, Edge and all-new 2017 Super Duty when they come out later this year.
Jeffrey Hannah from automotive technology research firm SBD said of the initiative that
“Ford is not taking the traditional approach of introducing Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto on a few piecemeal models or as an expensive option on luxury vehicles only. The guesswork for consumers is over — if you buy any 2017 Ford vehicle with SYNC 3, you drive off the lot with both of these innovative technologies ready to go.”
According to a recent Accenture survey, more than 60% of consumers prefer their car’s dashboard to be in the same ecosystem as their phone so carmakers could increase customer satisfaction by offering CarPlay and Android Auto.