The latest generation of Ford’s communications and entertainment system is set to make its South African debut this year when the high-tech new Sync 3 is launched on the Ford Kuga, Mustang, Ranger and Everest.
Ford Sync already enables drivers of 15-million vehicles worldwide to voice-activate essential in-car features, greatly improving ease of access to numerous phone and multimedia functions. The system has also made a significant contribution to driving safety, enabling drivers to remain focused on the road while accessing the vast range of available communication and multimedia features.
“Sync3 brings to life even more innovative new ways of staying connected on the move,” says Tracey Delate, General Manager, Marketing – Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region. “Designed to complement modern smartphones, with an intuitive touch screen and an exciting array of new features, Sync3 understands even more conversational speech commands, is significantly faster and offers a higher resolution interface that is simpler, and easier to read and use than the outgoing Sync2 system.”
For the third-generation system, Ford has drawn on more than 22 000 comments and insights gained from research clinics and surveys to ensure the new version is the most customer-centric designed system to date, and is a convincing successor to Sync 2. Sync 1 will remain a core entry-level audio system for selected Ford models and will continue to offer Bluetooth with Voice Activation and extensive mobile and multimedia device integration.
Simplifying the user experience by putting the audio and phone options customers use most at their fingertips, Sync 3 has been further improved through increased processing power and a reduction in the number of steps required for a command.
With pinch-to-zoom and swipe gestures, Sync 3 provides customers with a high definition experience of the eight-inch touch screen that is similar to smartphone screens, thus making it easier and more intuitive to use.
Smartphone integration has been stepped up with several fantastic new features, including Apple CarPlay, which allows iPhone users to make phone calls, access music, send and receive text messages, and get directions optimised for traffic conditions via voice control while the drivers’ eyes stay focused on the road. The system is also compatible with Siri Eyes Free which allows for easy access to Siri with iPhones connected via Bluetooth.
Android users will be able to activate Android Auto, which makes the platform’s apps and services such as Google Search, Google Maps and Google Play Music accessible in a safe and seamless manner through Sync3.
Additionally, using Ford’s built-in voice control, the driver can access all the suites of services available through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto simply by using voice commands
To keep the system up to date, periodic over-the-air software updates for Sync3 can be downloaded via Wi-Fi, once it is set up on a trusted wireless network.
“The fantastic new features and functionality launched with Sync3 makes it one of the most comprehensive and easy to use in-car communication and entertainment systems of its kind,” Delate says.
“Some of the licenses for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are still being finalised for official release in the collective Middle East and Africa region, and therefore will be introduced as they become available in market.”
There will be a progressive roll-out of Sync 3 for the 2017 model year across the relevant nameplates – either as a standard feature on selected derivatives, or as an option.
For the first time in South Africa, navigation will also be offered with Sync3 from early 2017, either as standard equipment, or as an optional extra, depending on applicable model range and derivative. This feature will be introduced in phases across selected Ford models in 2017.
Notably for South African customers, the language choices for Sync 3 navigation comprise English, Zulu and Afrikaans.