After dropping Microsoft for Blackberry’s QNX software as the basis of its SYNC 3 infotainment system, Ford has decided to partner with the Redmond, Washington-based software giant once more. Ford owners and enthusiasts shouldn’t curse the sky just yet, since the new partnership does not involve with the backbone of SYNC.
This time Ford has tapped Microsoft for its Azure cloud platform, which The Blue Oval will use for its new Service Delivery Network (SDN). The SDN will allow Ford to wirelessly update its SYNC 3 infotainment system and enable it to glean more data about how users utilize SYNC 3. That data can then be used to remotely diagnose problems with the vehicle or to remind dealers and owners that the car is in need of service. Ford could also provide the data, such as vehicle usage, from the SND to your insurance agency (gulp), and use it to offer a wider range of apps and mobile services along the lines of emerging revenue-streams like car-sharing and pay-per-use rentals.
According to executive director of connected vehicle and services, Don Butler, “[Third parties] may come up with new ways to leverage the data and create new opportunities to deliver services” to vehicle users.
As for SYNC 3, it has yet to be released. The all-new system will make its first appearance this fall on select 2016 Ford models. Unlike SYNC 1 and 2, which were based on Microsoft technology, SYNC 3 will be underpinned by the Blackberry-owned QNX operating system, which has nothing in common to any Blackberry devices as it was the product of an independent company acquired by the struggling Canadian devices and services company.