By on December 12, 2014

SYNC 3

Joy to the world, MyFordTouch is dead. In its place, Ford introduced Thursday its new SYNC 3 connected-vehicle system.

Pulling from suggestions and comments from 22,000 consumers, in combination with clinics and surveys, the QNX-based SYNC 3 aims to be more intuitive than the outgoing technology, delivering an interface similar to those found on smartphones and tablets. The system also offers day and night settings, reduced complexity, and better voice recognition.

Speaking of smartphones, users can connect theirs via SYNC 3’s AppLink, allowing them to control their smartphones through voice commands. The latest version of AppLink can automatically discover music and news apps such as Spotify, iHeartRadio Auto and NPR One.

Software updates can now be achieved via Wi-Fi: once a user links the system to their home network, updates can happen while the car is parked in the garage or on the driveway.

Finally, users can dial 911 via the subscription-free 911 Assist service, which uses a Bluetooth-connected phone to call first responders in the event of an accident, and providing detailed information location, whether airbags were deployed, how many seat belts were used, and the type of crash that occurred.

Owners can expect SYNC 3 to arrive in the 2016 model year, with full replacement by New Year’s Eve 2016. Lincoln will have a slightly touched-up version for its customers, as well.

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72 Comments on “Ford Kills MyFordTouch, Introduces SYNC 3 Connected-Vehicle System...”


  • avatar
    Spartan

    Good. It was a stupid name anyway and the previous Sony system was a lot more reliable. The “myLincolnTouch” name was even dumber.

    Good riddance. The Sync name works just fine.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Notice to Russian, NKorean et al hackers

    “Software updates can now be achieved via Wi-Fi”.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      …And to our local oppressorate: “….And can’t NOT be delivered via WiFi. Anonymously.”

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        Yep, there’s a lot of FUD about MFT.

        The articles claim it can’t automatically dial 911. It can.

        The articles claim it doesn’t have the Sync Applink. Mine does.

        I’m sure there are other things it claims that aren’t true. I stop reading, because I tire of the poor journalism.

        MFT isn’t perfect, but it’s not the crap that much of the automotive media claims it to be. It’s certainly above average and very capable. I don’t blame Ford for moving on, but the media needs to get over itself.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “Finally, users can dial 911 via the subscription-free 911 Assist service, which uses a Bluetooth-connected phone to call first responders in the event of an accident”

    How about I just call 911 on my already hands-free connected phone

  • avatar
    Dirk Stigler

    And the $25-45k question: will it be possible to software-update your existing MFT? (guessing no, due to Sync 3 apparently using a capacitive touch screen instead of MFT’s resistive screen)

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I realize systems will always improve over time (or so the theory goes), but I never had much issue with the MyFordTouch systems. I don’t own a Ford, but have driven multiple rentals with the system. I always thought it was pretty easy, clean, and intuitive.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The earlier versions were clunky and frustrating. They got better over time with perpetual updates, but the early versions tainted feelings for the system for many. Much of the frustration came from device compatibility which in many cases could cause the APIM (the actual SYNC module) to brick (black screen of death). There was a period where dealer technicians were changing those modules more frequently than underwear.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I have a mid-version that works just fine, in fact I’m quite happy with it. I like the way Ford can diagnose issues and make recommendations through my Bluetooth connection. It works seamlessly through both my iphone and Galaxy S phones and tablets, it’s unobtrusive and easy to use

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I have it in a 2014 model, it’s fine, I have no complaints.

      • 0 avatar
        toxicroach

        It’s been fine for a while now, but when two years ago it was terrible. The bluetooth system was garbage. It would work for a week then lose it. Only way to fix it was a hard reboot. So two days after I bought a brand new Escape I had the hood up unplugging the battery. Not a good look.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    How is that better than my already paid for phpne that plays music, navigates, phone calls….. and is easy to use. Also works outside the car and aleays up to date. And every 2 years I get a new one and always be on top.

    Then just give me a normal dial for warm and cold and car driving is perfect.

    But no, apparently we need this $1K sustem that already is obsolte, doesn’t navigate……

    • 0 avatar

      The industry expects more and more leases on new vehicles. You’ll update your car like you do your phone. Manufactures don’t really make money off used car customers other than extended factory warranty.

      Also, if you want basic tech, it’s still out there. this “$1K” option is just that, an option. I just picked up a basic S model, it has Sync, but not MFT.

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      Seriously. My bluetooth has three buttons. Vol up, Vol down, and the ‘call’ button that answers/ends calls, and calls up Siri.

      “Text my wife ‘I’m on my way home\'” “Call my work” “Play music by Drive-By Truckers” “Give me directions home” “Where is the nearest gas station?” “Call 8675309” etc.

      I have no use for a system that adds it’s own level of complication and potential incompatibility!

  • avatar
    Quentin

    There wasn’t a day and night mode before?

    Funny story, when my wife bought her Rav4 last winter, I drove it home in the evening and noticed that there wasn’t a night mode on the navigation. Especially on the map screen, it really was distracting. The audio screens were fine. I searched the settings for a night mode and it was turned on. The auto headlights worked fine, so it had to be an issue with the nav unit or the signal to turn the nav unit to night mode. We don’t do much night driving and the days were long in the spring and summer, so the issue slipped my mind for the most part. One night, I’m driving and I go to adjust the dash dimmer. There is a detent at the brightest position. As soon as I moved the dial from the detent, the nav screen went to night mode. Basically, whoever did the PDI of the vehicle left the dash dimmer on the brightest setting in that detent and that forces the nav to stay in day mode. Anywhere else on the dial off that detent and the nav screen did the autoswitching between day and night mode as expected. Lesson: RTFM.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      The manual didn’t tell you this?

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        That is why I said that the lesson was to read the manual. I had found a setting for night mode just going through the settings on the nav screen and assumed that settings was the only thing that impacted the screen switching between day and night mode.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          There should be a dedicated day/night button for immediate switching! That’s poor product development.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            Not sure if you are being facetious. The way that it works makes sense now that I understand it. If you want the nav screen full bright at night time, you use the dial that turns the rest of the IP to full bright. I can’t really think of a scenario where you would want the nav full bright but not the rest of the IP. To be honest, I can’t think of a scenario where you would want the nav full bright when the headlights are on, either. There is a dedicated button to turn off the day/night mode in the nav settings, but it under the setup menus. It don’t know if that button is accessible when the vehicle is moving, though. Toyota tends to lock out a lot of things when the vehicle is driving.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Nope was being serious. My GS had a night option, buried deep in the screen menu settings, and I’m pretty sure it was greyed out while moving.

          • 0 avatar
            Occam

            “To be honest, I can’t think of a scenario where you would want the nav full bright when the headlights are on, either.”

            Headlights on during rain/fog, or while driving in Mandatory Daytime Headlights “Safety Corridors.”

    • 0 avatar
      MLS

      Chrysler’s dimmer wheel has long worked exactly this same way, i.e., the first detent provides full IP/screen brightness regardless of headlamp use. As Occam notes, it’s very helpful when driving in daylight with the headlamps (for whatever reason) burning.

  • avatar
    skor

    I don’t understand why they even put propriety systems in cars anymore. Why not just include a docking station for a tablet?

    • 0 avatar
      Dirk Stigler

      Because the day after they did that, someone would crash while they were typing a Facebook post on their docked tablet, then sue the carmaker because they figure they can get a lot of money that way.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      What do you do when the tablet changes its interface?

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Agreed they need to give up on these OEM systems and just develop something like Apple’s CarPlay where the phones controls and screen are mirrored on the car’s system. Then just write a free and easy to update app for any extra car specific controls or tool the OEM feels adds value. For example service reminders, MPG calculations or how to find their local dealership.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        I’m guessing the fragmentation of the market. When everyone owns the same brand and size of tablet I’m sure that would work, but for now and maybe ever that is not the case.

        There are other reasons too, control of experience, what if you root your android and it is hacked etc.

        • 0 avatar
          Occam

          If you root/jailbreak, a predictable, complication free experience probably isn’t high on your list.

          Evolving standards is a good reason to have a normal rectangular Double-DIN hole. This is something Scion got right – the cars don’t actually arrive with a stereo installed, so that you can either take the one included in the price of the car or have an upgrade model installed (or call Crutchfield and order your own.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I remember when Ford was building up to the ’15 Mustang reveal, they were trumpeting the fact that it would be the first Mustang with MFT. How long is Ford’s brand-new car going to carry on with the now obsolete system?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Before 2017.

    • 0 avatar
      GranMarkeez

      Apparently not that long. Sounds like the ’17 model for sure will have the new system.

      I am no big fan of MFT but as long as the provide buttons and knobs for redundancy it should be fine.

      Wish list: standardizing infotainment systems across all car manufacturers.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      They were using Mustang dash mockups during the demo, so presumably that’s one of the cars that’s fairly fully developed.

      Also, it doesn’t appear they’ve changed the physical form factor of anything — just the hardware behind it. So dashes shouldn’t need to be redesigned as they did for MFT.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    It doesn’t look like this supports Apple Car Play.

  • avatar
    Boff

    Personally, I prefer the appearance of the MFT to the new system (perhaps the latter is customizable). It does, however, look to be a substantial improvement in usability, as many of the MFT touch areas are far too small and the screen does not respond with the alacrity and consistency we’ve come to expect from tablets and phones. All that being said, the fact is that a touchscreen is a hella terrible way to interface with a car.

  • avatar
    redav

    Obviously, I’m not like most people. I’m not addicted to my phone and feel no need to always be connected. I don’t need (nor want) to make calls from my car. I don’t need to to carry around my music. (I put mine on a USB which stays in the car.) I am not infatuated with touch screens.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Wow, never heard that before on TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      It’s really so much more then phone calls and music. It’s diagnostics and software updates that you can do yourself without taking it to the dealer and more

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        *than

        Those are wholly separate things. You don’t need a touch screen with phone pairing for diagnostics. If software is designed well, it doesn’t need updates (I’ve never updated software in my microwave, DVD player, TV, thermostat, etc. They just work. I don’t expect more of my car’s infotainment.)

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Windows, IOS, Android need updating constantly a car not so much, but I get diagnostics and the occasional update monthly through My Sync. I’m quite pleased with the results

  • avatar
    Timothy

    IMHO The new interface looks like shit. How hard is it, really, to design a good looking interface over a well engineered product? Ugh.

    Not that I could upgrade anyway, but I’ll keep MFT interface thanks.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Why would Sara be calling Sara’s iPhone? I’d reject that call to myself.

  • avatar
    Maseraudi

    The three big players in the connected car space are car makers, phone makers and telcos…
    Car makers believe that they own the driving experience and want everything integrated on their dashboards, phone makers think they can deliver a higher level of user experience based on superior connectivity, high end apps etc… and telcos just want to add the car to the phone family plan.
    At the periphery of this clash of giants, some smart start ups like Zubie or Mojio have realized that at the end it’s all about the customers… Their OBDII based aftermarket solutions is compatible with any car built after 1996, any phones and not only managed via apps but also accessible on the web. Why spend thousands in a new car when you can have a connected car for $100?

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Remember that old joke about how if Microsoft made cars, they’d randomly crash? Not so funny any more: Microsoft powers Ford’s infotainment. The worst is the “Sync with MyFord” system in my car — basically MyFord Touch but with physical buttons and a smaller non-touch screen. Its menus make no sense, the USB function has never consistently worked, and now the Bluetooth function is starting to fail as well, on top of which the sound quality blows. By contrast, the system in my lady friend’s Hyundai is easy to use, usually works, and sounds good. Hyundai’s system is powered by Blackberry. Imagine.

    • 0 avatar
      mypoint02

      >Hyundai’s system is powered by Blackberry. Imagine.

      Blackberry owns the QNX operating system used here, so now Ford’s is as well. It’s a solid platform. Well suited for automotive applications. I actually liked the most recent interface, but this should perform much better.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I hate microsoft more than most, but they aren’t the cause of MFT’s problems. They programmed Sync, which works. Ford went to a small company to program MFT, and they botched it. If microsoft had also done MFT, it wouldn’t have been half as bad as it was initially.

      What I do blame microsoft for is the acceptance that computers crash. Sure, I see how a computer with a near-infinite possibility of programs & updates may never be crash proof. But cars perform a limited & defined set of functions. They can be designed robustly enough that they don’t crash. But they do, and we just accept it. That bothers me.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Does Microsoft supply software to any other auto manufacturer?

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