Ford Motor Co. will add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all of its 2017 model-year vehicles as the automaker works to expand its Sync 3 infotainment system and make it more compatible with smartphones.
The technologies allow drivers to use their phones for navigation, music, calls and other features. When connected, a car’s dashboard screen mimics an iPhone or Android phone screen.
Ford said it will offer CarPlay and Android Auto starting on the 2017 Escape, which goes on sale this spring. Owners of 2016 vehicles equipped with Sync 3 will have an opportunity to upgrade later in the year.
In addition to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Ford plans to expand its own in-vehicle smartphone application system, called AppLink.
Ford made the announcements in advance of the CES 2016 technology trade show in Las Vegas.
“Sync allows customers to bring the smartphone technology they’re comfortable with into a vehicle and use it without hassle,” Don Butler, executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services for Ford, said in a statement.
Automakers are increasingly turning to Apple and Android services.
General Motors Co. last May said it would offer both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on 2016 model-year Chevrolets. Ferrari has cars on the road with Apple CarPlay, and it’s available in aftermarket products sold through Pioneer and Alpine.
Hyundai Motor America last year said it became the first automaker to offer Android Auto on a production car with the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. It plans to offer CarPlay early this year.
Ford said its Sync infotainment system is on about 15 million vehicles on the road, and it expects that number to jump to 43 million by 2020.
Additions to AppLink include:
■AAA/CAA: The app for AAA members in the U.S. and CAA members in Canada to allow users to see nearby gas prices use the Here2there route planning feature.
■Concur: Upon starting a car, Concur users receive a prompt asking if they want to log a business trip. The app then starts clocking mileage.
■IVOX DriverScore: Allows drivers to create their own profile of driving habits. It then generates a DriverScore, similar to a credit score, for insurance discounts.
■CitySeeker: Suggests nearby restaurants, nightlife and other attractions in more than 500 cities worldwide.