Ford Motor Co.’s touch-screen infotainment system has been one of the reasons why the carmaker’s quality ratings have been on the decline. To mark its seriousness in overhauling the system, Ford is dropping the “MyFord Touch” name and will dub its newest version as the “Sync 3.” It is not the name that will only change, but also the entire system.
In fact, Ford is dropping the OS provided for by Microsoft and will use BlackBerry's in-car operating system, QNX. According to the carmaker’s product development chief and chief technical officer, Raj Nair, they incorporated more survey data and feedback into Sync 3 than it has when introducing any new vehicle.
He remarked that the Sync 3 is designed to be more intuitive and quicker than the current system that was rolled out in 2010. Nair disclosed that Sync 3 is designed to be “device agnostic,” which means it is compatible with any type of smartphone. Sync 3 also includes Siri Eyes Free capability for more seamless integration with iPhones.
During a demo, Najr remarked that Ford doesn’t want customers making a purchase decision “about a $30,000 automobile based on [a] $200 smartphone.” While the Sync 3’s 8-inch screen has the same size as MyFord Touch, it features larger text and touch zones as well as brighter background colors. The system’s voice controls also respond to more conversational language.
Parish Hanna, Ford’s global director of human machine interface, said in a statement that the system has lesser number of things on-screen to make control easier is designed to limit the number of times a driver needs to glance.
While the current system could only be upgraded by sending a new software or visiting a dealership, Sync 3 can automatically update itself via a wireless network. Sync 3 will be available starting in MY2016 vehicles and will be offered across Ford and Lincoln’s full lineups by the end of the 2016 calendar year.
According to Ford, the Sync 3 will come as standard on the Titanium trim level and can be availed as an option at a price comparable to that of MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch (around $1,000). Models with MyFord Touch will not be able to upgrade to Sync 3. [source: Ford]