SYNC 3 Shows Ford Emerging From Technology Doldrums

When Ford released its SYNC infotainment system in 2007, its intention was simple: bring leading-edge and feature-rich in-vehicle infotainment technology to the mainstream. But two generations later, Ford will be quietly promoting SYNC 3 as a system that is easy to use, and whose aspirations have been “toned down.”

“Sync, when it was first announced in 2007, changed the industry,” Ford CEO Mark Fields told Automotive News last week. “With MyFord Touch, we saw benefits, but clearly, we had some quality issues. We’ve addressed that and listened to customers.”

MyFord Touch, the second version of SYNC, was often seen as a glitchy and confusing piece of technology that proved to be problematic to consumers, even forcing Consumer Reports to rate perfectly-fine Ford products “Not Recommended” thanks to MyFord Touch alone.

The first version of SYNC as well as the MyFord Touch/MyLincoln Touch follow-ups, were based on Microsoft’s embedded automotive operating system. SYNC 3, by comparison, relies on Blackberry’s QNX, which is currently found on 30 million vehicles among 250 models.

“The focus here was not on creating a brand-new platform full of features that no one else had — it was on creating something that would be exponentially easier to use than the old system,” said IHS Automotive analyst Mark Boyadjis. “I’m convinced that this will be a better solution than their current platform.”

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