Ford may have announced the fourth-generation SYNC infotainment platform along with the unveiling of the Mustang Mach E late last year, but is just now letting people know about the system’s vast improvements over its predecessor.
Among the long list of dramatic changes include the ability find cheaper gas stations and open parking spots.
This particular new feature is made possible by Ford’s new partnership with Inrix, Inc., a leading provider of connected car services and transportation analytics, and will be available in all Ford vehicles equipped with SYNC 4, starting with the Blue Oval’s spate of 2021 releases including Mustang Mach-E, Bronco two- and four-door models, and F-150.
“Available in the all new SYNC 4 connected vehicle system with navigation, drivers will be able to easily find, compare and navigate to available parking spaces, as well as search for the lowest fuel prices and drive to stations nearby,” Ford described the new feature.
The new SYNC 4 also comes with all the goodies that its predecessor is known for including navigation, traffic updates, charging locations, on-road incident reports, and more. In addition. SYNC 4 technology also combines conversational voice recognition with internet search for total hands-free operation.
“Customers want connected vehicle technologies to work more like smartphones with real-time, personalized services – and that is exactly what SYNC 4 offers, including INRIX’s parking and fuel price innovations,” said Gary Jablonski, manager, Ford Connected Vehicle Infotainment Systems. “For example, many F-150 customers drive from job to job in new areas where we can help guide them to gas stations and parking spots closest to them, or perhaps a bit further if they are looking for cheaper options.”
As for why Ford chose to work with Inrix for the SYNC 4, the tech provider has the ability to collect billions of anonymous data points every day from a wide range of digital sources, including other connected vehicles, cities, road weather and news reports, social media, parking facilities, other mobile devices. As a leading provider of mobility intelligence for automakers, transit agencies and businesses, Inrix is a natural choice for the Blue Oval as a partner on the infotainment front.
“Since 2008, INRIX has played an important role bringing connected services to Ford SYNC drivers,” said Bryan Mistele, president and CEO of INRIX. “These services are no longer just a selling point but a requirement – real-time information like traffic, parking and fuel play a critical role in the entire driving experience.”
It may take some time for the SYNC-4 equipped Ford models to get here, as they are being released at the middle of the year at the earliest in their home market of North America, which means we’ll probably get them later in 2021 or the following year. That is, if they ever get released here at all.
Until then, Ford car buyers are stuck with the SYNC 3 for Ford’s local lineup of brand new vehicles.
Photo/s from Ford