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CES: Ford Has Global Hopes for Sync

Europe and Asia launches are planned

Carmaker Ford believes that in the next three years it will reach 9 million new customers with its Sync voice-activated “in-car connectivity” system.

At the CES convention here in Las Vegas, the company said the platform is in 4 million Ford vehicles at present. It launched in 2007. It plans to begin offering Sync in Europe and Asia this year.

Its selling point: it creates what Ford calls an upgradeable car, allowing features and improvements to be added easily.

“Sync is now available on 100% of Ford’s 2012 retail product lineup in North America,” it stated. “All new Ford Fusion and Flex are launching with Sync as standard equipment.”

Functions added to Sync since its launch include direct connection to emergency operators after an accident; voice-activated access to cloud-based information like traffic and weather; and — particularly relevant to radio industry concerns — the capability to give smartphone users access to apps using voice control including Internet radio.