Ford is ringing in the new year with a noteworthy milestone, by installing the Ford SYNC in-car connectivity system on its 3 millionth vehicle in North America.
Ford SYNC was first available for the 2008 Ford Focus, with an option price of $395, in the fall of 2007 and quickly migrated across Ford’s product lines.
Today, SYNC is available on all Ford and Lincoln products, except those that are largely commercial or fleet use. The option price remains at $395 for most vehicles, but now includes several new standard features such as 911 Assist, Vehicle Health Report, and SYNC Services.
Customers buying Ford vehicles are treating SYNC as a must-have technology, purchasing the system, when available, nearly 80 percent of the time on current 2011 models – up about 4 percentage points compared to 2010 models. SYNC is standard across the Lincoln lineup.
Undeniably, the strong purchase power and customer satisfaction ratings of SYNC are bolstered by its industry-leading voice recognition system, a feature that is taking a stronghold in terms of what people want when it comes to in-car connectivity systems.
In an internal research conducted by Ford, nearly 70 percent of SYNC owners reported that they use the SYNC voice controls while driving.
According to the 2010 study “Staying Connected on the Go: A Look at In-Vehicle Smartphone Integration Systems” conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association, 55 percent of the fast-growing population of smartphone owners prefer voice commands as their primary in-car user interface.
With the introduction of MyFord Touch in 2010, Ford made the SYNC voice recognition system even faster, friendlier and easier to use with more direct, first level commands, quicker and easier entry and search and more recognized aliases.
The improvements were designed to help drivers accomplish tasks hands-free using more natural speech patterns and fewer commands, enabling them to focus on the task of driving.