Ford Sync Feature Spotlight: Send-to-SYNC

The Ford Sync Send-to-SYNC feature is another basic but value add feature of the system.  By allowing users to visit MapQuest.com and send destination to the vehicle Ford has enabled another integration point for users to connect their regular web browsing with the vehicle.  This type of feature has existed in the marketplace for many years, but Ford is the first to introduce it at such a low cost.

Users who visit MapQuest will have an option to send to the vehicle, but the user has to enter the vehicle, pair their bluetooth phone and download the destination to the system.  Ford’s Doug VanDagens says, “…When you get to your car, it already knows where you want to go.  That ‘s the very definition of convenience.”  Which it would be if the system didn’t require your phone be paired to have a way to download the information.

It’s a minor inconvenience, but you’ll probably have to wait a minute for the download once you turn your car on and get things paired.  It’s possible (thought not mentioned anywhere I could find) that the system will also utilize the embedded Wi-Fi to download the information when the vehicle is in range of a trusted network (like in the garage at home)…again, I haven’t found any mention of this, it’d just be nice if it worked.

The system works with both SYNC’s voice-guided turn-by-turn directions as well as an installed navigation system and requires no additional hardware beyond that.

The real inconvenience of this particular feature is that you have to use mapquest.com.  I’m sure there are people that still use MapQuest, but they should probably have their internet connections taken away.  The holy grail of this type of feature will be cross platform availability.  That is, the ability to go to any mapping site (though I’m not sure why anyone would use one other than Google Maps) and have that information delivered directly to the vehicle.

The use case for this feature and ones like it is a strong one.  The need to be able to deliver this (and much other) information directly from the home ‘hub’ to the vehicle ‘hub’ will remain because even though in-vehicle connectivity is growing the primary place to look things up online will continue to be in the home.

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