Americans have been privy to the perks of Ford SYNC for quite some time, and the idea of apps for you car still feels a little bit weird- and now it’s coming to Europe in the Fiesta-based B-Max compact.
It seems automakers have come around to the idea of drivers doing pretty much everything in addition to driving while driving their cars, and Ford SYNC is- if you’ve not seen it- an “integrated in-vehicle communications and entertainment system that allows users to make hands-free telephone calls and control music and other functions using voice commands.”
Currently available in 14 models of Ford and five Lincoln models, Ford Sync debuted back in 2007 at the Detroit Auto Show and rolled out between 2007 and 2008 in several Fords. The Ford B-Max will be the first European Ford to get the system following its Geneva Auto Show debut.
In addition to music player connectivity (the “entertainment” portion of Ford Sync), the system has several cellphone related functions, such as phone book integration and hands-free, voice activated dialing. (It can also read texts aloud.) GPS navigation and integration with Microsoft Auto are among Ford SYNC’s other features.
If it sounds like a lot going on when you’re supposed to be driving, Ford acknowledges that. Ford CEO Bill Ford- great-grandson of Henry Ford, said the service is meant to reduce distractions for a driver, not enhance them:
“Today, often, drivers are looking down and we know that they’re playing with their cell phone and texting and we want to stop all that… We want them to be looking at the road with their hands on the wheel, and our tech is allowing them to do that, knowing they also want to be connected.”
The Ford B-Max will go on sale in Europe later this year.