Ford Motor Co., will base the next-generation SYNC system on BlackBerry's QNX, no longer employing Microsoft Windows, people briefed on the matter told Bloomberg. They remarked that using QNX will be less costly than licensing Microsoft technology, and the move will enhance the flexibility and speed of the next SYNC system.
Ford has over 7 million vehicles on the road with SYNC using Microsoft voice-activated software that allows phone calling and music playing. Ford chief executive Alan Mulally has seen the carmaker dip in quality surveys by J.D. Power & Associates and Consumer Reports, with customers citing tech systems and touchscreen issues.
According to Ford, the quality of its vehicles have been "mixed" each of the past three years. The carmaker admitted falling short of its plan to improve those results last year. Ford sees the improvement in SYNC as crucial attracting customers who are increasingly looking to be connected at all times.
According to a study by Accenture published in December 2013, in-vehicle technology is the top selling point for 39 percent of vehicle buyers – which is more than twice the 14 percent who said they consider first power and speed.
The Ford and Lincoln brands ranked No. 26 and No. 27 out of 28 brands in Consumer Reports' annual reliability survey published in October. The Ford brand finished 27th out of 33 brands in J.D. Power's Initial Quality study in June 2013. [source: Bloomberg]