Ford announced today that Waze users will soon be able to project real-time traffic and navigation information onto Ford’s SYNC 3 touch screen and access the services by voice commands.
The full-featured integration – which includes in-vehicle integration for iOS – means Ford customers can simply plug their Waze-equipped smartphone into the USB port of their vehicle, and once plugged in, Waze will project onto its touch screen.
“Our goal is to bring a human-centered approach to technology in the vehicle, making it as easy as possible for people to integrate the tools that matter most to them,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “With the flexibility of our SYNC 3 software and AppLink, customers can easily use Waze to get all the traffic and navigation help they need – on a big screen and without having to fiddle around with their phones while driving.”
To deliver optimal driving directions and traffic updates, Waze uses crowd-sourcing to gather information about road conditions from all of its users. People simply type in their destination and drive with the app open to contribute data to Waze’s community of users. At the same time, people can take a more active role by sharing reports from the road, including notifying the community of previously unknown accidents, hazards or route changes.
Waze can help commuters avoid congested roads in favor of other routes, or see when their friends are expected to arrive at their destination. Waze users can even help each other save money by sharing gas prices as they travel, allowing people to navigate to the cheapest nearby gas station.
“Since announcing the partnership between Waze and Ford at Mobile World Congress 2017, we’ve been working hard to optimize and evolve the experience for the driver community,” said Jens Baron, product lead for B2B and in-car applications at Waze. “We are happy to showcase our partnership with Ford through AppLink SDL on iOS – a seamless in-car navigation experience that connects Waze navigation to your car’s console. With SDL, Waze guidance is presented onto the driver’s in-car screen and new features are made available as soon as they are released. With SDL, drivers get the most updated version from Waze – with all the new features and design releases, the same as driving with Waze on your phone.”
At launch in the coming weeks, any 2018 model year Ford vehicle equipped with SYNC 3 version 3.0 or greater will be able to run Waze on its touch screen. Other SYNC 3-enabled Ford vehicles can receive an over-the-air update or an update via USB to enable Waze functionality.
In addition to Waze, Ford is bringing other SYNC AppLink integrations onboard. Customers will soon be able to use iHeartRadio to access thousands of live radio stations or create their own personalized stations based on their favorite artists and songs. Meanwhile, Ford will be giving productivity a boost by incorporating WebEx functionality with SYNC 3 as well, offering people web conferencing opportunities on the fly.
Ford is also featuring its recently released Ford+Alexa app at CES. The app gives customers access to all 25,000 of Amazon’s Alexa skills, including the abilities to play music, check news reports and add items to shopping lists.