The Detroit Auto show is underway and man has Ford kicked it off with a bang with the unveiling of the new 2013 Fusion. As great a car as that is I’m more interested in the technology Ford has showcased. Ford announced at CES (Consumer Electronic Show) this year a series of new apps you can control through AppLink, their in-vehicle app support. For those unfamiliar with system, AppLink allows control of supported apps by using your voice through SYNC. For example, you’re listening to Pandora and you like the song that is playing. Instead of reaching for your phone to “thumbs up” it, you just click the voice button and say “thumb up”. Currently there are 5 supported apps; Pandora, Sticher, iHeart Radio, OpenBeak and Slacker. The new apps that will join them are Roximity, NPR, Scout and SYNC Destinations. Make sure to check out Ford’s Press release of these apps to get the full view of how they will change your driving experience.
Roximity will allow drivers to get real-time deals and savings at stores based on their current location. You will also be able to customize the app by save preferences so that the app works around what you like. This is still in the development but I can’t wait to get my hands on this and try it out. Ford Press Release: Roximity
NPR and Ford surprised everyone when they announced they you will now be able to use NPR’s app in AppLink. The app will allow you to view live shows and episodes. You can even use your consoles preset list to save stations so you can easily access them when you’re using the app. Oh and you’ll have Carl Kassell as the voice of the app. If that doesn’t excite you I don’t know what will. Ford Press Release: NPR
Scout is an app from Telenav that will allow you to view real time traffic info by looking at your center console display. You will also be able to save locations so you never forget where that great coffee shop was. The greatest thing about this app though is that you can have it up and running while also listening to your favorite playlist. This way you don’t have to sit there in silence as you wait for a voice to tell you to take the next left. Ford Press Release: Scout
If you read our previous article on SYNC Destinations then you already know what it can do. Well Ford is now putting their app in the list of AppLink supported apps. You will be able to access traffic to your saved locations and be able to get directions to those locations with seamless voice commands. If you already have the app the updated app that is compatible to AppLink will be out in the first quarter of this year. Ford Press Release: SYNC Destinations
Ford has challenged developers to create apps that would be compatible to AppLink. They have already had 3,000 developers wanting to join Ford in creating apps that would work with AppLink. If Ford continues down this road then the extent of driver connectivity in vehicles will grow immensely. Personally, I’m really looking forward to the future Ford is bringing to the automotive industry. Tell us, what is your opinion on the direction of in-vehicle technology?