New Ford Sync to feature weather, safety apps

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

The latest version of Ford Motor Co.’s Sync infotainment system will feature a number of new apps, including weather forecasting and a locator app that can alerts others when you’re driving so they won’t text you.

The Dearborn automaker hasn’t yet announced what vehicle Sync 3 will debut on, but on Tuesday revealed partnerships with AccuWeather and Life360 as part of Sync AppLink, its network of more than 40 apps.

Life360 lets family and friends see where the driver is on a private map, and sends alerts suggesting they not text the driver. A follow-up message is sent once the driver arrives at the destination.

The Ford partnership marks the first time Life360 has been available for in-car use.

“We are thrilled to be working with Ford to take on such an important issue and help reduce texting and driving,” Chris Hulls, co-founder and CEO of Life360, said in a statement.

The AccuWeather partnership lets users access minute-by-minute weather forecasts for where they are at in the car.

“The new integration of AccuWeather for Ford SYNC AppLink will bring our customers the most up-to-date weather information while on the road,” Julius Marchwicki, Ford’s connected services product manager, said in a statement.

“The system is easy to use, and with the addition of MinuteCast, drivers will get minute-by-minute forecasts for up to two hours to help them make safer driving decisions during bad weather,” he said.

Sync 3 and the new apps will be featured at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from Jan, 6-9. Ford President and CEO Mark Fields will give the opening keynote address at the conference.

The current version of Sync with MyFord Touch is in about 10 million vehicles, Ford said. The automaker first unveiled Sync in 2007, but it was plagued early on by quality issues.

In the latest version, Ford is dropping the “MyFord Touch” name and is partnering with Panasonic and QNX for software, instead of Microsoft.

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