Ford is updating a lot of 2016 mannequin yr automobiles geared up with SYNC three infotainment software program, including Android Auto and CarPlay to the autos with a free, over-the-air replace through Wi-Fi, or utilizing both USB or going via their supplier. The improve shall be out there for round 800,000 autos in whole, giving an enormous variety of Ford automotive homeowners the possibility to get massive infotainment enhancements with out having to purchase a more moderen mannequin automotive.
The OTA replace possibility can be an enormous step for Ford – it’s the corporate’s first for software program, and it’s one of many main causes that Ford lately employed round 400 new cell smartphone engineers, the corporate tells me.
For CarPlay, customers will nonetheless additionally have to improve their car’s USB hub to make this work (which may also incur a supplier go to and a value), however for these on Android, all that’s required is a straightforward software program set up. The USB set up technique can be quicker, however the Wi-Fi replace possibility is the beginning of the corporate’s efforts to actually improve its OTA replace program, which shall be used for safety enhancements in addition to infotainment bumps.
Even with a supplier go to and improve for CarPlay, this feels like a worthwhile factor for 2016 car homeowners to do. CarPlay and Android Auto are large upgrades vs. most in-car software program, providing navigation and leisure choices that comply with you out of your telephone to your automotive.
Retroactively providing this sort of factor to automotive homeowners is a particular change in tone for automotive makers, since they usually use these sorts of issues as incentives to get folks curious about car mannequin updates. But as information turns into more and more necessary to automakers as a enterprise, it is sensible to encourage better in-car use of units.