Ford’s just unleashed its first mobile Sync app for its digitally connected cars. It’s called Destinations, and lets you send traffic and navigation info to your car from your mobile phone. The app even pre-warns you about your departure time and estimated arrival time based on what it knows about traffic. Your car is now as smart as a co-driver.
Ford’s been working hard to future-proof its lineup of vehicles, and by adding in a smart dashboard, dubbed Sync, it’s challenged one of the longest-stagnating design elements of a conventional car. This new app is designed for Sync-traffic, direction and information capable Ford cars–which isn’t all of them. Still, what it does is impressive.
According to Ford it “leverages the power of your smartphone” to manage your “Sync services account and to plan ahead … knowing what’s happening on the road ahead of you before you even get behind the wheel.” Teamed with Inrix (which provides real-time traffic info) Ford’s Destinations app now delivers real-time speed, accident and incident info for pretty much every major road in North America. The app does “sophisticated analysis of current traffic conditions” and even factors-in the season and holiday schedules and “unique local events such as school schedules, sports games and concerts.”
For added safety, in this age of cell phone texting bans, Sync Destinations has a 5mph lock-out feature which kills the app when your car’s speed goes over 5 mph–so you focus on the road.
Essentially Ford’s turned your car and smartphone into a navigation ecosystem, and added in some top-notch navigation systems that give it the kind of powers that a human co-driver would need to pull off some special organization skills to compete with.