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Ford Syncs with TomTom



Ford has struck a deal with location technology specialist TomTom to upgrade the next generation of its Sync technology navigation system.

TomTom has been awarded a global multi-year deal to provide Ford’s Sync with its real-time traffic service. The first Ford vehicles available with the technology will be the 2021 Ford  F-150 pickup, revealed a few days ago, and the soon to be delivered electric Mustang Mach-E SUV.

“The new F-150 is Ford’s flagship and the Mustang Mach-E is one of the industry’s most exciting vehicles this year – both are leading the next automotive revolution of connected vehicles,” says Stuart Taylor, Ford executive director of enterprise connectivity. “Their next-generation Synctechnologies have twice the computing power of the previous-generation system to do much more, including real-time, smartphone-like mapping that can help you adjust on the fly to quicker routes, based on their network of millions of connected devices.”

TomTom Traffic provides  real-time traffic information, which can keep drivers informed and can help them reduce travel time. The advanced service can  predict traffic changes, such as congestion, before they happen. It processes more than 70-million driving hours every day from millions of connected devices, and will leverage Sync’s increased computing power to update navigation systems every 30 seconds.

“Automakers choose TomTom Traffic for its accuracy, freshness and reliability,” said Antoine Saucier, managing director of TomTom Automotive. “Ford’s decision to include TomTom Traffic in its next-gen Sync connected vehicle technology is another step towards our vision of a world free of congestion.”

Most connected F-150 yet

Ford says the F-150 represents its next big step in bringing connected vehicles to customers. The new Sync 4 is standard on the  truck, including more natural voice control as well as real-time mapping and customisable information on demand. The technology builds on more than 10 years of Sync innovation, and helps minimise distractions with hands-free voice control as well as core features, like making phone calls and selecting music.

Ford’s navigation system and TomTom Traffic are fully connected to and informed by the internet with maps the latest available traffic and construction information, ensuring customers are getting the most up-to-date info for their routes. Ford also equipped Sync 4 with optional navigation with the ability to share parking space availability and prices.

By taking advantage of cloud-based voice processing, Sync 4 can understand conversational requests, such as “Find me the best Thai restaurant” and offer data-based suggestions to drivers. Staying in contact with friends and family also becomes easier, with natural speech recognition enabling communication via SMS and email.

Seamless Mustang Mach-E technology

Making its debut in the Mustang Mach-E, Sync 4A offers a sleek  interface that uses machine learning to learn drivers’ preferences and improvesover time, thanks to over-the-air updates. A 15.5-inch screen and adaptive dash card interface ditches complicated menus, making it easier to access features with touch, swipe and pinch controls, as with smartphones.

“Sync 4A, which is optimised for electric vehicle customers, actively adapts to you as soon as you start using it, quickly learning preferences and makes personalised suggestions,” says Darren Palmer, Ford global director for BEVs. “TomTom’s real-time traffic data, combined with other innovations such as Ford Intelligent Range technology, will help Mustang Mach-E customers get the most out of every charge.”