updated 07:50 am EDT, Wed June 22, 2011
Ford SYNC AppLink gains momentum
Ford has added its SYNC AppLink connectivity technology to ten more vehicles in its range for the 2012 model year. Among the new models to get the technology include the Ford Fusion, Fiesta, F-150, Super Duty, Expedition, E-Series, Shelby GT500 and the Ford Mustang. The Microsoft-developed AppLink software connects smartphones with Ford's SYNC in-vehicle information and entertainment system. It is designed to reduce driver distraction by allowing users to control their smartphone apps from the vehicle's steering wheel controls and by voice commands.
"We understand more and more drivers are using their devices and their apps while in the car," said Doug VanDagens, director of Ford Connected Services Solutions. "Ford SYNC with AppLink gives customers a smarter way to access their apps...that keeps their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road."
A recently released J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study shows that 86 percent of smartphone owners indicate they use their device while in their vehicles. Further, a Nationwide Mutual Insurance 2010 study suggests that more than one in four Americans who download smartphone apps admit to using those apps while driving.
Ford SYNC-enabled smartphone apps include Pandora, Stitcher and OpenBeak. Supported platforms include Apple iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices. Additionally, over 2500 developers are also currently looking to develop SYNC-enabled smartphone apps.