Ford Motor Company has finally revealed its plans to update its infotainment system, replacing the Microsoft-based operating system with BlackBerry’s offering. The company will ditch its longtime software provider for the new system, named “Sync 3.”
Out With the Old, In With the New
The move means the automaker will drop the MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch names.
According to Michele Krebs, senior analyst for AutoTrader.com, “[MyFordTouch (and Sync before it)] has been the modern-day equivalent of Edsel for the automaker. So good riddance MyFordTouch. What’s more important than the name, however, is the ease-of-use and quality function of Ford’s infotainment system, whatever they want to call it.”
The Canada’s QNX software from BlackBerry comes with efficient touch control features and smarter voice recognition. The company explains that the Sync 3 is more responsive and faster, not to mention compatible with popular apps such as Spotify and Pandora.
The system’s menu is bigger, as the company aims to make it more like a smartphone or tablet. In addition, it will feature simplified graphics on a black and white colored template to give car owners a smooth browsing , listening, and navigation experience. This means users can control the vehicle’s climate and make phone calls through voice or touch commands.
BlackBerry’s QNZ, however, is hardly a first for the company. The technology is already a success in vehicles ranging from BMW to Toyota.
The Big Change
Starting with the 2016 model year, Ford will begin using the new infotainment system.
The best thing about buying a car with the latest system is that it allows users to work with Siri Eyes Free, interacting directly with Siri hands-free for doing things such as looking up coffee shops or restaurants. Another improvement is that when the automaker has software updates, it will not have to require users a USB to download the surface.
No confirmation yet, however, on whether Ford’s AppLink will be this well-integrated with the system’s BlackBerry 10 OS on new BlackBerry smartphones. The company’s spokesperson, Alan Hall, could not also confirm what percentage of vehicles will still have the old infotainment systems and which will have the new ones.
There will be “a lot of flexibility to the full experience (of) in-vehicle usage,” Parrish Hanna, global director for human-machine interface, said in a statement.
For industry watchers, the new in-car technology of Ford is a promising investment. The move is considered a remedial effort from the automaker to fix the old system that faced a lot of customer complaints and criticisms.