Ford details CarPlay integration with SYNC infotainment system

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2015
Ford CEO Mark Fields on Thursday offered a few more details about plans to integrate Apple's CarPlay into future vehicles, saying that while support is coming, Ford's SYNC infotainment system will be the star of the show.




In an interview at Ford's Palo Alto research center on Thursday, Fields told Re/code his company will support both CarPlay and Google's Android Auto in upcoming SYNC iterations, but only as secondary interfaces to the primary QNX-based system.

Although Ford is already a confirmed CarPlay partner, the automaker has remained mum on how it plans to integrate Apple's in-car platform in future vehicles. After dropping Microsoft and developing a next-generation SYNC product based on BlackBerry's QNX, it stands to reason that Ford is reluctant to give up the dashboard wholesale.

According to CTO Raj Nair, who was also on hand to answer questions, Ford is also taking consumer choice into consideration with its multi-pronged solution.

"We want to make sure you are not pushed into a decision on a $40,000 car based on your $200 smartphone," Nair said.

With a mature infotainment system, Ford is in a good position to cherry pick the best features from CarPlay and Android Auto. For example, Nair said SYNC will allow customers to use Google Maps while streaming music from Sirius satellite radio, a go-to entertainment option offered to North American car buyers.

While protective of its seat at the table, Ford is also experimenting with burgeoning mobile technology. Nair showed off an Apple Watch app to link with and monitor the status of various Ford hybrid and electric vehicles. It took the company's research team only one week to build the app.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    gprovidagprovida Posts: 247member
    I have delayed my car choice with Ford Lincoln partly waiting for Apple Car and dumping that awful Sync. If this is where Ford is headed in 2016 then it's time to look at anothe car company.

    You would think the miserable performance and consumer dislike for sync would drive change sooner, but .....
  • Reply 2 of 34
    gprovida wrote: »
    I have delayed my car choice with Ford Lincoln partly waiting for Apple Car and dumping that awful Sync. If this is where Ford is headed in 2016 then it's time to look at anothe car company.

    You would think the miserable performance and consumer dislike for sync would drive change sooner, but .....

    It's not Sync people hate, its MyFordTouch. Don't confuse the two systems. MFT is gone.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    gprovidagprovida Posts: 247member
    Aside from continuing sync ick the idea that you are going to mix and match like describe is going to be a nightmare of bugs, conflicts, and crashes as apps are updated. Why not a simple menu to boot into MS Sync, Android, or Car Play. All they are doing is confusing consumers and risking very messy stability and performance. Ford is simply not competent to do the triage and maintenance. Heck their current electronic diagnostics are of limited value in repairs. I can testify to the utter inability to predict failure and when failure happens it's usually replace a part and if that doesn't work try another.
  • Reply 4 of 34

    As usual, Ford is confused about what consumers want. First off, what are they smoking when talking about Carplay and a $200 phone is the same context. New iPhones (which are required with Carplay) are not $200 folks. And more importantly, a person's phone is more that just a thing with a cash value. People are VERY attached to their phones. Ford, you are mistaken when you attempt to minimize the importance of a phone to an individual. I have two Ford's in my family. Both have Sync. Absolutely the worst feature on the car. Well, maybe the transmission is worse. Anyway, when we bought one of the cars, the dealer was telling us what a great car it was, but then went on to apologize in advance for the Sync system. Telling us, that is the single biggest problem/mistake Ford has with their cars. So Ford, Sync is NOT the star of the show. Get that through your heads.

  • Reply 5 of 34

    I am not at all interested in a Ford. But what's being reported in this instance -- carmakers balking on CarPlay except as an addendum or a subsidiary product to their own utterly crappy interfaces -- seems to be pretty much what's been achieved so far.

     

    Somewhat disappointing.

  • Reply 6 of 34
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post

     

    As usual, Ford is confused about what consumers want. First off, what are they smoking when talking about Carplay and a $200 phone is the same context. New iPhones (which are required with Carplay) are not $200 folks. And more importantly, a person's phone is more that just a thing with a cash value. People are VERY attached to their phones. Ford, you are mistaken when you attempt to minimize the importance of a phone to an individual. I have two Ford's in my family. Both have Sync. Absolutely the worst feature on the car. Well, maybe the transmission is worse. Anyway, when we bought one of the cars, the dealer was telling us what a great car it was, but then went on to apologize in advance for the Sync system. Telling us, that is the single biggest problem/mistake Ford has with their cars. So Ford, Sync is NOT the star of the show. Get that through your heads.




    Sync is NOT the issue. If you were an informed consumer you would know that. Sync has been around since 2008 and has been well received. It's the system known as MyFordTouch (or MyLincolnTouch) that is the component people hate. That part is gone now.

     

    And smartphones for most Americans are $200 up front, hence that statement.

     

    What they're saying is that they don't want to go all in on one or the other, to avoid irritating a potential customer. It's not like the PMP days when you could just stick a 30-pin in the glovebox and cover 90% of the media player market.

  • Reply 7 of 34
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gprovida View Post



    . Ford is simply not competent to do the triage and maintenance. Heck their current electronic diagnostics are of limited value in repairs. I can testify to the utter inability to predict failure and when failure happens it's usually replace a part and if that doesn't work try another.

    No, no, no. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. All OBD-II codes do is tell you there's an issue and give you an idea of the system (that's a standard protocol across the car industry, BTW). You still need a brain to determine the problem. Throwing parts at a problem is a sign that someone doesn't know what they're doing.

     

    And that system isn't designed to "predict failure" anymore than a computer pops up a dialog box saying "Hey, your power supply is going to blow tomorrow, better order a new one". :no:

  • Reply 8 of 34
    A lot of posters are noting previous bad experiences with Sync. I suffered under Sync too---but this is a new QNX based version. QNX is a very stable platform and will likely be a vast improvement over the current infotainment system. I think we should hold off on any harsh criticism before anyone has actual hands on.

    That being said, I think Ford will be shooting itself in the foot for not getting ahead of the curve by adopting CarPlay and the Android equivalent. Consumers spend an ever increasing amount of time in these environments. Leveraging them into a good driving experience can only be beneficial for any carmaker.

    And the CTO's comments are way off---consumers can and will make decisions based on useful, reliable integration with their smartphones.
  • Reply 9 of 34
    For example, Nair said SYNC will allow customers to use Google Maps while streaming music from Sirius satellite radio, a go-to entertainment option offered to North American car buyers.

    See, here is another example that shows that they just don't get it. If I'm listening to music, Sirius is a poor choice compared to what I have on my iPhone. All I have to do is pick one song and generate a Genius Playlist. I can guarantee there is not one song on my iPhone that I don't like. Can't say the same for the Sirius channels - they can't even stick to the right genre most days.

    Let me say it where they can possibly understand -
    1) I don't want to learn a new system every time I trade cars.
    2) I want to use the operating system that I already like and am familiar with.
    3) If you have a specific way that you want me to interact with the vehicle, put it in an app. If I like, it I'll use it.

    Sometimes you wonder if some people can hear what is coming out of their mouth.
  • Reply 10 of 34
    red oakred oak Posts: 628member
    Ford Sync with Microsoft was an unmitigated disaster

    Their lack of commitment to CarPlay removes them from my consideration pool for a 2016 purchase
  • Reply 11 of 34
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,521member
    gprovida wrote: »
    . Ford is simply not competent to do the triage and maintenance. Heck their current electronic diagnostics are of limited value in repairs. I can testify to the utter inability to predict failure and when failure happens it's usually replace a part and if that doesn't work try another.
    No, no, no. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. All OBD-II codes do is tell you there's an issue and give you an idea of the system (that's a standard protocol across the car industry, BTW). You still need a brain to determine the problem. Throwing parts at a problem is a sign that someone doesn't know what they're doing.

    And that system isn't designed to "predict failure" anymore than a computer pops up a dialog box saying "Hey, your power supply is going to blow tomorrow, better order a new one". :no:

    You sure know a lot about Fords. All this time I thought your name referred to:

    700

    but now I know it is really:

    700
  • Reply 12 of 34
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by quinney View Post





    You sure know a lot about Fords. All this time I thought your name referred to:







    but now I know it is really:




     

    You needed to scroll a little further:

  • Reply 13 of 34
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    See, here is another example that shows that they just don't get it. If I'm listening to music, Sirius is a poor choice compared to what I have on my iPhone. All I have to do is pick one song and generate a Genius Playlist. I can guarantee there is not one song on my iPhone that I don't like. Can't say the same for the Sirius channels - they can't even stick to the right genre most days.

    Let me say it where they can possibly understand -
    1) I don't want to learn a new system every time I trade cars.
    2) I want to use the operating system that I already like and am familiar with.
    3) If you have a specific way that you want me to interact with the vehicle, put it in an app. If I like, it I'll use it.

    Sometimes you wonder if some people can hear what is coming out of their mouth.


    First, Ford gets it just fine. Sync is great and was ahead of its time. Myfordtouch stinks, and Ford got rid of it. Ford's approach is probably fine. It is supporting both iOS and android. It is also letting its own apps work. There is nothing wrong with that and it is smart not to give up total control to Apple or Android. You want your car to work with whatever phone you chose.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,414member
    gprovida wrote: »
    Aside from continuing sync ick the idea that you are going to mix and match like describe is going to be a nightmare of bugs, conflicts, and crashes as apps are updated. Why not a simple menu to boot into MS Sync, Android, or Car Play. All they are doing is confusing consumers and risking very messy stability and performance. Ford is simply not competent to do the triage and maintenance. Heck their current electronic diagnostics are of limited value in repairs. I can testify to the utter inability to predict failure and when failure happens it's usually replace a part and if that doesn't work try another.

    Exactly what I was thinking, they are going to screw it up. When things do not work you will have no idea what the issue is. Plus I do not want to use Google maps for navigation they suck. I like using waze yeah I know its own by Google but they have not screwed it up yet except for the stupid ads that now show up.
  • Reply 15 of 34
    My Ford Expedition, which replaced a Ford Taurus and was preceded by a Ford Mustang, is nearing replacement. My number one criteria for selecting a new car is CarPlay integration, and these comments make it sound like I should be looking at other manufacturers when the time comes in the next 12-24 months.
  • Reply 16 of 34
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,610member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacSince1988 View Post



    My Ford Expedition, which replaced a Ford Taurus and was preceded by a Ford Mustang, is nearing replacement. My number one criteria for selecting a new car is CarPlay integration, and these comments make it sound like I should be looking at other manufacturers when the time comes in the next 12-24 months.



    I just bought a C-Max which I really like, but the myTouch and voice Sync I don't care much for.   Thank god there are still a few real buttons left on the dashboard.   I thought about waiting  for the next model year but decided that it will probably be 3-4 years for Ford and the car Manufacturers to implement CarPlay right.     I have no interest in trying to scan around Sirius for radio and figure Ford gets some sort of kickback from Sirius for including it.   

  • Reply 17 of 34
    sky kingsky king Posts: 189member



    Amen brother.  You have outlined it perfectly.  It's so doggoned simple.

     

  • Reply 18 of 34
    customtbcustomtb Posts: 336member
    "We want to make sure you are not pushed into a decision on a $40,000 car based on your $200 smartphone," Nair said.

    Yet they will continue to push me Away from their $40,000 car by not giving me what I want.... pure CarPlay
  • Reply 19 of 34
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by MacSince1988 View Post



     and these comments make it sound like I should be looking at other manufacturers when the time comes in the next 12-24 months.

     

    All of the American manufacturers are buying their feature systems from Panasonic. (Hence why they're all QNX) Ford was the last to the party. You'll get the same thing, with a skin either way.

  • Reply 20 of 34
    I also have had a nightmare with MyFordTouch/Sync in a 2011 Ford Edge. I am reading hoping that Ford replaces the current MicroSoft software with QNX software in existing systems.
Sign In or Register to comment.