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Ford partners with Blackberry, drops Microsoft for Sync 3


Ford Motors has partnered with Blackberry to develop Sync 3, a consumer vehicle technology and has dropped its long-time partner Microsoft. The third-generation in-car connectivity system promises to be simple with a natural-voice command system.ford-2010107-1024-10-630op

The company has replaced the MyFord Touch name with Sync 3 in a bid for an overall design of the four-year old product. In a survey by J.D Power, Ford received less quality ratings and this prompted the company to opt for Canada’s QNX software from Blackberry. Ford had partnered with Microsoft in 2007 for developing Sync but the bugs and issues in the technology generated criticism from car owners.

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“Sync 3 will be rolled out on more than half the Ford and Lincoln vehicles in the US,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director of connected vehicles and services.

However, Butler did not mention the vehicle models on which the service will be integrated. He added that the system will have a different interface for Lincoln vehicles, but will have the same functionality. Ford’s global director of Human Machine interface stated that the interface features less on-screen things, easier controls and reduces the number of times the driver has to glance at the screen.

Sync, introduced in 2007 was seen as a revolution in in-car technology and the second-generation Sync with large touchscreen for commands generated ire among consumers which reduced the overall quality ratings of the company. However, Ford released software updates and upgraded the interface by adding buttons. About 90 percent of Ford vehicles are equipped with the base Sync system and 55 percent of vehicles run with the MyFord Touch system.

Gary Jablonski, Sync product development manager stated that the company benchmarked the best consumer devices, listened to the about 22,000 consumer feedback and was engineered in a way the consumer was in the room. With the introduction of software updates, company will no longer offer USBs and includes Wi-Fi for home connectivity for over-the-air updates.

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