Ford and Google have just made things a whole lot easier for the directionally impaired with the "Send to SYNC" service—a feature that allows drivers to beam directions from Google Maps to Ford SYNC-enabled vehicles.
The service, set to launch later this month for 2010 and 2011 SYNC-equipped cars, allows users to send destinations from Google Maps to their vehicles using a "send" menu on the Maps site. Ford and Google use traffic information to calculate the optimal route in the cloud before downloading information to the vehicle. Once the information has been downloaded, SYNC can read directions aloud.
Ford claims that it is the only automaker offering the capability to send directions remotely to a vehicle without a paid subscription to a telematics service like OnStar. But Google isn't limiting its services to Ford. The Internet giant is teaming up with OnStar to develop navigation features for the Chevy Volt's upcoming Android app. Volt users will be able to access a "Navigation" tab in the app that shows the location of their vehicle on Google Maps as well as their current location relative to the car. The app's OnStar feature also will allow drivers to find locations on Google Maps via voice and beam destinations to the in-vehicle OnStar screen.