Recent reports have suggested that Ford will be replacing its current Microsoft Windows-based SYNC infotainment system, used in cars like the new Ford Fiesta and Focus, in favour of a new system from Blackberry.
According to AutoExpress, all new Ford SYNC systems will now operate on Blackberry’s QNX platform. The new platform is said to be less expensive to license than Microsoft’s technology and promises to improve the flexibility and speed of Ford’s infotainment tech.
The QNX platform, which is already available in some Audis and BMWs, cost $200 million (RM656 million) when Blackberry bought it in 2010. The software was created by a company called QNX Software Systems, and is used to power the Blackberry 10 operating system.
Although we personally think that the Microsoft SYNC technology works fine, sources stated that Ford’s equipment is falling behind its competition, with the company finishing 23rd out of 32 for in-car tech in the Auto Express 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. Ford added that the quality of its vehicles has been mixed over the past three years and it had failed to deal with those issues in 2013.
There are currently more than 7 million Fords using the Microsoft-based Ford SYNC system, which allows drivers to make phone calls and play music via voice commands. Ford SYNC system also allows drivers to contact the emergency services in the event of collision, and deliver GPS coordinates of the indecent location. The increasing demand for connectivity means that Ford is dedicated to improve its SYNC technology. According to a study by consulting firm Accenture released in December, 39% of car buyers prioritise in-car technology when it comes to purchasing a car, while only 14% consumers value power and speed. Therefore, improving SYNC technology is crucial for Ford to draw car shoppers who are increasingly looking to be connected at all times.
Microsoft and Blackberry aren’t the only companies with deal in the automotive industry. Google recently announced that it would bring its Android operating systems to Honda and Hyundai models while Apple is rumoured in talks with Tesla Motors about considering targeting Android into its cars.