Ford introduces Apple’s Siri in over 5 million vehicles
Thu 3 Dec 2015
A software update from Detroit automaker Ford will enable five million cars to benefit from Apple’s Siri functionality.
Ford vehicles introduced after 2011 come with an infotainment system named Sync, allowing drivers to make calls, listen to music, access apps and keep up-to-date with traffic announcements. Starting from today, all owners of Sync-equipped Ford models will be able to download a new software update, which will install Siri to the infotainment interface.
By pressing the voice recognition button on the steering wheel, drivers will be able to activate Siri Eyes Free integration through a connected iPhone. Using this setting, they can make calls, search for phone numbers, discover local points of interest, set reminders and alarms, find out about local weather, play music and send text messages. Ford owners will also be able to request that Siri reads out received messages, and offers directions using Apple Maps.
While most of these features are already available in Ford’s own system, it will perhaps provide a preferred alternative for existing Apple users who are familiar with the Siri assistant.
“SYNC, Ford’s entertainment and communications system, was designed to be flexible and updatable, just like other mobile technologies, so our customers are able to get the most out of their smartphones while behind the wheel,” said Sherif Markaby, director at Ford Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering. He continued that the new Siri feature would provide another voice-activated tool which will add convenience for the driver, as well as helping them “keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”
The car company initially revealed the plans to integrate Siri with the Sync version 3.8 update in October, but it delayed a wide release of the functionality for unknown reasons. According to an announcement on the Ford website today, the update is available in all Sync-enabled cars made over the last four years. It can be downloaded through the Ford Owner portal.