Waze Launches on Ford’s SYNC 3 Infotainment Systems Through iOS AppLink

At CES in January, Ford discussed a new partnership with crowdsource navigation app Waze that aimed to bring Waze onto the touch screen of SYNC 3 vehicles through Ford's AppLink. That partnership has been fully realized today with Waze users worldwide now able to connect their iPhones to AppLink via USB and mirror Waze on their infotainment system.


This allows drivers to access their favorite Waze features when following a route, searching for a nearby gas station, and even reporting traffic accidents, all while their iPhone is safely stored and locked. Voice guidance and commands are available as well through a Ford vehicle's speakers and microphone system.

The SYNC 3 integration includes recent Waze app updates like "Talk to Waze" for voice controls, route support for carpool lanes, more accurate arrival times, and more. Waze's crowdsourced navigation features are fueled when users open their smartphones and begin driving, with people typically using iPhone mounts and other products to safely drive without holding their devices.

Ford executive Don Butler explained how partnerships between carmakers like Ford and GPS apps like Waze further improve the safety of driving thanks to reducing potential smartphone distractions.
“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to access the smartphone features, apps and services they care about most in the car, without having to pick up their device,” said Don Butler, executive director, connected vehicle platform and product, Ford Motor Company. “With Waze, our customers get the benefits they’re accustomed to with the added luxury of experiencing them on a bigger screen.”
To access the new feature users will need SYNC 3 software version 3.0 or greater installed in the vehicle, as well as iOS 11.3 and the up-to-date Waze app downloaded on the iPhone. Ford encourages customers to head to its website for more details on Waze integration.


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CES 2018: SYNC 3-Enabled Ford Vehicles Gaining Waze Support Through iOS AppLink

This week at CES, Ford provided new details about a partnership with navigation app Waze, which will bring Waze's GPS directions onto the touch screen of SYNC 3 vehicles when connected via USB to an iPhone. Powered by Ford AppLink, the feature will let users operate Waze "completely through a vehicle's touch screen," as well as allow for voice control.

As long as the Ford vehicle includes a SYNC 3 infotainment system, users will be able to plug their iPhone into the USB port while running Waze to see the app projected onto the dashboard's touch screen system. Afterwards, all of Waze's features will be accessible, including crowdsourced navigation updates, liking and disliking user-created warnings, adding a new hazard report, carpool lane navigation, and Talk to Waze voice commands.

“Our goal is to bring a human-centered approach to technology in the vehicle, making it as easy as possible for people to integrate the tools that matter most to them,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “With the flexibility of our SYNC 3 software and AppLink, customers can easily use Waze to get all the traffic and navigation help they need – on a big screen and without having to fiddle around with their phones while driving.”
The partnership was previously announced at Mobile World Congress last year, and Waze product lead for in-car applications, Jens Baron, mentioned that the company has been working on optimizing the Waze experience on an infotainment system since that time. Using Ford's AppLink SmartDeviceLink (SDL) on iOS, Baron explained that users will "get the most updated version from Waze," and it will be the same as driving with Waze on a smartphone.

Ford explained that the Waze integration will launch in the coming weeks and will be supported on any 2018 model year Ford vehicle that has SYNC 3 version 3.0 or greater. Other vehicles with SYNC 3 will also be able to get Waze via an over-the-air update or update via USB. In addition to Waze, Ford said that other SYNC AppLink integrations will be coming soon, like iHeartRadio.

Ford began expanding its CarPlay support in mid 2016 when it announced its SYNC 3 infotainment system -- which features CarPlay and Android Auto -- would be available across its entire 2017 lineup of cars, SUVs, light trucks, and electric vehicles in the United States. Then in 2017, Ford released a SYNC 3 software update that added CarPlay and Android Auto support to its older 2016 model year vehicles, allowing more users to access Apple apps like Maps, Phone, Music, Messages, and more on their dashboard.


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