Ford New Sync 3 Touch-Screen System Will Be Powered by QNX

Posted by at 12:18 pm on December 11, 2014

SYNC 3

Ford left Microsoft car platform, which was used on its first two generations of Sync, and said its new Sync 3 telematics system would instead be run on an operating system from QNX, a company owned by Blackberry.

Now QNX, the company providing the operating system for the infotainment in Ford vehicles starting next year, may be owned by Blackberry, but has a long histroy when it comes to in-vehicle technology.

QNX OS is used by many other manufacturers, including General Motors, Audi and Mercedes.

Chief Technology Officer Raj Nair said Ford put a lot of effort into finding out what customers wanted, including drawing on 22,000 consumer comments.

Citing smartphone ownership of 80 percent by Ford customers, Nair said Sync 3 will “perform more like today’s smartphones and tablets but with specific details to make it appropriate for travel.” It will also “seamlessly integrate” with Apple Inc’s Siri virtual-assistant capability for iPhone users.

Getting connectivity right is important for all automakers at a time when problems with infotainment systems are often the biggest complaint about new vehicles, according to Consumer Reports.

Ford said it has turned the corner on customer satisfaction on the current version of Sync, which was introduced in January 2007.

Nair said Sync 3 was the most heavily researched program in Ford’s history. The new version was developed over 18 months, and includes a simplified layout, larger fonts and bigger finger touch zones.

The third generation of Ford’s connectivity system will begin to appear in new cars and trucks in North America next fall for model year 2016 and be available across its North American lineup by the end of 2016 for the 2017 model year.

Pricing will be similar on Sync 3 to the current version. Ford will offer the new system in Europe and Asia, but has not announced the timing.

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