Car manufacturer Ford has announced it is to stop using its Windows-based automotive infotainment system, and will instead utilise a system that can support Apple's CarPlay system and the Android Auto platform.
The new Sync 3 system will deliver faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, and smartphone-like touch screen. It will enable motorists to connect and control smartphone functions while driving, as well as seamlessly integrating Siri 'Eyes-Free' controls for iPhone users.
The new platform also includes AppLink, which enables selected popular mobile apps to be controlled via the vehicle interface or voice control. Compatible apps at launch include Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher and SiriusXM Radio, and Ford will enable app developers to include AppLink capability in their programs, leading to more being added over time.
The change represents the end of a long partnership between Microsoft and Ford, who adopted the tech company's Windows Embedded Automotive platform in 2007. However, the system has faced poor reviews and continued criticism since its introduction, and Ford has struggled to keep it relevant in the face of other, more innovative systems.
"Ford is deliver an easier way for customers to stay connected," said Raj Nair, chief technical officer and group VP of Global Product Development at Ford. "Sync 3 is another step forward in delivering connectivity features customers most want, and they tell us this kind of technology is an important part of their decision to buy our vehicles."