Portland 2015 Ford Mustang buyers, you have to see this!

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I am completely floored by what technology is doing for us. Portland Ford 2015 Mustang buyers, you have to check this out! For further information, please contact your Oregon Ford dealer, Mackenzie Ford in Hillsboro at (800) 783-0863.

New Ford SYNC® 911 Assist™ features debuting on the 2015 Ford Mustang will offer emergency dispatchers more potentially vital information to better inform first responders en route to an accident.

“911 Assist uses a mobile phone connected to SYNC to call 911 directly when needed,” said David Hatton, global product leader and electrical engineer, Ford Connected Services. “With enhanced data, the system will provide even more detail about a crash to aid in the dispatch of the appropriate resources.”

For example, if a dispatcher knows that both front safety belts were fastened at the time of a high-speed collision, he or she may decide to send an additional ambulance directly to the scene. Safety belt monitoring varies based on the airbag systems in the vehicle.

911 Assist requires customer consent to enable the feature when initially pairing a cellphone to SYNC, and the customer has the option to cancel the call before it is placed. In the event of an airbag deployment or fuel shutoff, a direct 911 call is placed using an occupant’s SYNC-connected phone. The operator then receives a brief, prerecorded message that a Ford vehicle has been in a crash and has the option to retrieve vehicle GPS information.

The enhancements will provide the ability to deliver information such as the maximum change in velocity during impact, indication of crash type (front, side, rear or rollover), safety belt usage as detected by the vehicle, awareness of whether multiple impacts occurred and whether airbags were deployed.

“SYNC will only broadcast relevant information to save time, and it constructs a very efficient message for the operator,” said Hatton. “After the introductory message, the voice line opens automatically and occupants can speak directly with the operator via SYNC’s hands-free functionality.”

Ford worked with the National Emergency Number Association to gather input from members, including Eaton County Central Dispatch in Michigan, and to educate emergency responders about the technology.

“We are pleased to continue working with Ford to prolong our vision of any device, anywhere, anytime to provide help needed in the event of an emergency,” said Ty Wooten, education and operations director, National Emergency Number Association. “This new data provided by 911 Assist will be useful in deciding the proper level of the initial response, and will give call takers an indication as to the severity of the incident.”

Staying engaged with the needs and desires of customers, as well as the emergency services community, Ford continues to work with nonprofit agencies such as the National Emergency Number Association as the company develops enhancements to 911 Assist.

Ford ditching Microsoft in favor of BlackBerry QNX for next-gen Sync?

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Ask the average consumer – at least, those who follow the goings-on in the automotive industry – which carmaker they’d most closely associate Microsoft, and the answer you’d most likely get would be Ford. The Blue Oval automaker, after all, was at the forefront of bringing Microsoft technology into cars with its pioneering Sync system, and, though reality didn’t turn out as such, Ford’s CEO was recently touted as a potential future head of the Redmond-based software giant. But that relationship, according to the latest reports, could be coming to an end.

Alan Mullaly kiboshed the idea of leaving Dearborn for Redmond, but more importantly Ford is tipped to be ditching Microsoft in developing its next-generation Sync system. In its place, Ford is expected to partner with BlackBerry’s QNX division.

Now, before you go balking “BlackBerry?! But they’re finished!” consider that QNX is (or at least was) an independent entity that Research In Motion (as BlackBerry’s Ontario-based parent company was then known) just happened to have bought back in 2010. QNX provides control systems to everything from nuclear power plants and UAVs to automakers like Audi, BMW and Porsche.

Ford is apparently keen to improve its in-car technology – an increasingly vital factor for new car buyers – while cutting Microsoft and its comparatively large licensing fees out of the equation.

[Source: Autoblog]

You can now order Domino’s pizza from your Sync-equipped Ford

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The news keeps pouring in from the Consumer Electronics Show now underway in Las Vegas, and the latest comes from Ford which has announced two new apps for its Sync AppLink system.

First up is a cooperative app launched by Ford together with Domino’s Pizza that lets drivers of the former order pizza from the latter right from their car. The service allows those with Ford Sync AppLink in their car or truck and are registered with a Domino’s Pizza Profile to place an order for their favorite pie using Dearborn’s voice-recognition software for either pickup or delivery. Save your information in your Pizza Profile and it’ll be sent to your house without even the push of a button, which strikes us as awesome a use of technology as we’ve ever seen.

The second announcement is the result of a similar collaboration, this time between Ford and Parkopedia. Using a dedicated app, drivers will be able to access Parkopedia’s 28-million listed parking spots, find the nearest one and see how much it’ll cost them to park there. Easy pizza and pain-free parking? This whole connected car thing just might be worth it after all.

Ford marks 5 million Sync-equipped vehicles over 5 years

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It’s pretty amazing how much in-car technology has advanced in recent years, and Ford’s Sync system has been at the forefront of vehicle connectivity and infotainment. Since its debut on the 2008 Ford Focus, Ford says more than five million of its vehicles have been equipped with Microsoft-developed technology.

Back when Sync was shown off in 2007, smartphones were just in their infancy (the iPhone was unveiled two days later), and Sync allows customers to upgrade their mobile devices without having to replace any equipment inside the vehicle. Over the years, Ford has expanded the technology to include new features such as AppLink that adds Sync-enabled apps-like Pandora, iHeartRadio, Stitcher and Vehicle Health Report.

Down the road, Ford says Sync will get even more personal through the use of cloud computing and vehicle sensor data.

Portland Ford Fusion dealer looks back on 5 years and 5 million Sync-equipped vehicles

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Five years ago, Ford Motor Company and Microsoft came together to launch the benchmark for in-vehicle connectivity systems with the introduction of SYNC. Today at the GigaOM Roadmap Conference, Ford CTO Paul Mascarenas and Microsoft Windows Embedded General Manager Kevin Dallas announced the 5-millionth vehicle equipped with SYNC has been sold and they shared their joint vision for continued leadership in development of the connected car.

“SYNC has helped us evolve as an automaker, to think and act more like a technology company, with a new level of openness and access that has forever changed how we look at our business and respond to our customers,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president, Ford Research and Innovation. “Ultimately, SYNC embodies what Ford is all about: going further to transform innovative ideas into products that are affordable, attainable and valuable to millions of people.”

When Ford and Microsoft first initiated the collaboration in 2005, the engineering teams recognized that mobile electronics were quickly becoming an increasingly important part of people’s lives as cell phones and digital media players. Considering how quickly mobile device usage had grown in just the previous few years, the development team decided a new development approach was needed going forward.

“Thanks to our partner Microsoft and their expertise, we have turned the car into a platform with extensive opportunities for developers to work with us to continue to add value through new features delivered at the speed consumers now expect,” continued Mascarenas. “With more than 1 billion smartphones now in service around the world, we expect mobile connectivity will continue to be the foundational element of our strategy going forward.”

“We’ve worked with Ford on SYNC right from the start,” said Kevin Dallas, general manager of Windows Embedded, Microsoft Corp. “Taking a platform approach enabled us to move quickly and deliver an innovative solution unlike any in the industry while providing us the flexibility to continue to deliver new features and improvements to Ford customers.”

While cars and trucks typically stay on the road for more than 10 years on average, people often replace their consumer electronics every couple of years to keep pace with the latest advances in technology.

The SYNC development team created an architecture based on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform that took advantage of open protocols like USB and Bluetooth® to enable virtually any device to be connected for media playback and communications. That decision turned out to be more prescient than anyone on the team could have imagined.

When SYNC was first announced on Jan. 7, 2007 at the International CES, the presentation featured the iPod, Motorola RAZR flip-phone and Palm TREO smartphone. Just two days later, Apple began a mobile phone revolution and the beginning of the app economy with the announcement of the original iPhone. When customers began driving the first car available with SYNC, the 2008 Focus, in fall of that year, most were using SYNC to make hands-free calls using their feature phones and play back music from iPods with simple voice commands powered by Nuance voice recognition technology.

Five years on, there are smartphones powered by a diverse range of platforms including iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone mobile operating systems. With ample on-board storage, processing power that rivals desktop computers from five years ago and fast wireless data connections, these phones still work with those original SYNC-equipped vehicles. They can also power new available capabilities on most Ford vehicles like AppLink™, 911 Assist®, Vehicle Health Report and SYNC Services, a cloud-based service network including traffic reports, turn-by-turn directions, business search, news and sports scores and movie listings.

“Now, it’s clear that building an open, upgradable connectivity platform has been key to the success of SYNC because it has allowed us to stay relevant to the consumer,” said Mascarenas. “With available SYNC, Ford vehicles are no longer stuck with the technology built in at the factory, they can keep pace with the latest consumer trends through simple software updates.”

Ford was ranked first in ABI Research’s OEM connected automotive infotainment Competitive Assessment, with high ratings for implementation, innovation, and price.

With 5 million SYNC-equipped vehicles on the road and the system just beginning to launch in Europe and Asia, Ford and Microsoft, along with Nuance, are always working on new enhancements that can keep customers on the leading edge of in-car technology.

“At Microsoft, we’re now focused on how data and connectivity can turn devices into intelligent systems that enable insight-driven action,” said Dallas. “In the vehicle, this means the ability to connect to more data from more sources and use it to help the driver. Together with Ford, we’re helping them turn the connected vehicle into an intelligent vehicle.”

Cloud connectivity, on-board sensors and data access are key components for creating this kind of intelligent vehicle experience. Other advances, such as natural language processing and machine learning, could help SYNC provide a more natural interaction between car and driver, enabling a driving experience that’s more personalized and convenient.

“The car is a rich source of real-time data and when combined with the processing power available in the cloud, it could become the smartest device you will ever own,” adds Mascarenas.

 

Roximity location-based deal provider app launches with a friend in Ford [w/video]

Wouldn’t it be great if your car alerted you to nearby deals as you drove by them? Austin Gayer and Danny Newman’s Roximity app will appeal to you, then. The duo explains it as “a location-based alert system that allows merchants to sign up for geo-aware location deals.” In other words, when you’re near a place offering a deal, you get an alert on your iPhone, and since Roximity is integrating with Ford Sync, that functionality extends to Ford cars and trucks as well.

Roximity was the winning app developed during the Ford Sync App Developer Challenge at the 2011 TechCrunch Distrupt Hackathon in San Francisco. What makes it different from other deal sites, like Groupon, is that you can better tailor the deals to your interest. This way you won’t get deals for vegan dining if all you want is updates on bacon cheeseburgers. Watch the video to see Gayer and Newman explain their app firsthand.

[Source: Autoblog]

Ford working on automatic “do not disturb” function to combat driver distraction

Ford has been ahead of the curve when it comes to driver distraction – in both inviting potential sources of distraction into the car and then offering technological solutions to help keep drivers focused on the road. Ford’s Sync and MyFord Touch systems are happy to make phone calls, play music from your phone, run smartphone apps, read text messages aloud, and allows you to manage almost all of it via voice activation.

However, as industry-leading as Sync’s functionality may be, it’s come under scrutiny from some safety researchers who insist that all such technology, even when it’s voice-activated, is distracting. Ford certainly doesn’t want its competitive advantage undermined, and with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration kicking around recommendations to combat distracted driving, proposed rules that could render navigation systems useless, the topic is certainly a hot one.

So that brings us to today’s press release, in which Ford touts its research into what it’s calling a “driver workload estimator.” That five-dollar phrase is a convoluted way of saying the automaker is trying to figure out how to make its cars automatically block some of the functionality of Sync and MyFord Touch, especially incoming phone calls or text messages. Of course, Ford does not want this automatic activation of the do-not-disturb feature that’s already part of MyFord Touch to make customers any more frustrated with the system than they already are. Thus the desire to incorporate biometric feedback into the system.

Ford says it can gather temperature, heart rate, and respiration through a special experimental steering wheel and seat belt. The car’s computer could then use this information to augment data already coming from the rest of the vehicle to determine if it’s not a good time to notify the driver that, say, her sister just accidentally butt-called her from the bar. While you could make the case that it’s really never a good time for such a call, Ford is more concerned with keeping the phone from ringing when you’re trying to merge into heavy freeway traffic.

And when might you be able to purchase such electronic wizardry? No time soon. We talked to Jeff Greenberg, Senior Technical Leader at Ford Research, and he told us that the company has no current production plans for the technology, as it’s concerned about how customers will react to it. “We do have a lot to learn about what customers will accept,” he said.

[Source: Autoblog]