Ford Announces Over-the-air Updates, Larger Screen than Model 3

Ford has just made two big announcements—literally—that will make drivers very happy.

First, the company will begin equipping most redesigned vehicles with advanced over-the-air update (OTA) technology, making it easy to wirelessly upgrade vehicles with quality, capability and convenience updates that can help improve vehicles over time and reduce dealer trips.

Ford expects to deliver its first updates about six months after launching the first vehicles with the capability in 2020.

Some updates will be virtually invisible to customers, enabled by an innovative platform that installs much of the new software in the background. Others could add new features, like when Ford added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility to SYNC 3 through USB and WiFi updates several years ago.

The other announcement made by Ford is the fourth generation of SYNC infotainment. After a shaky start, the technology is now widely considered among the most intuitive in the industry and we’re really looking forward to the new capabilities of SYNC 4.

The system will come alive on new touchscreens ranging from 8-15.5 inches in size, trumping the Ram 1500’s 12-inch display and the Tesla Model 3’s 15-incher.

On the 12-inch screens, which will be laid horizontally, multi-tasking will be enabled by splitting the screen into larger and smaller windows. Meanwhile, on the vertical 15.5-inch screens, instead of having to navigate menus every time you want to launch an app, recently used or popular features will be listed underneath the main portion of the screen in individual dash cards.

Photo: Ford

SYNC 4 also includes conversational voice recognition and cloud-based connectivity through FordPass Connect with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, while offering wireless compatibility with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and SYNC AppLink (similar to iDrive in BMW cars). Wireless charging will be available, too.

The new SYNC 4 system will make its debut on select Ford vehicles starting in 2020, but we don’t know which ones. The freshly redesigned Explorer and Escape are obvious candidates.

Finally, it should be noted that a big part of the development for this technology comes from Ottawa, Waterloo and Oakville in Ontario.

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

ElectricFord Announces Free Charging at Over 12,000 Stations
As it prepares to hit the market with a Mustang-inspired electric crossover next year, Ford has announced plans to offer more electric vehicle (EV) public charging stations in North America than any other automaker. The FordPass Charging Network will feature more than 12,000 charging stations, including approximately 1,400 in Canada.
First Drives2020 Ford Escape: Trying to Regain the Lead
Twenty years ago, Ford introduced the Escape to take on the popular Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 . It quickly made a name for itself and became the sales leader after a few short years, despite some quality issues. Following an update in 2005 and another one in 2009, the …
First Drives2020 Ford Explorer: Five-pronged Attack
STEVENSON, Washington— The Explorer is the most successful vehicle launched by America’s oldest manufacturer in the last 30 years. Sure, the Ford GT is spectacular and the Mustang deserves a lot of praise, but these two sports cars have not changed the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people …
NewsFord CEO Speaks out Against Rising New-Car Prices
You think new cars and trucks are starting to get seriously expensive? You’re not alone. In an interview with Automotive News , Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett talked about the significant increase in new-car prices over the past couple of years. In his opinion, this has to stop sometime—prices …
NewsFive Things to Know About the Mustang Mach-E's Infotainment System
As you know, Ford hosted the Canadian premiere of the all-new 2021 Mustang Mach-E at the 2020 Montreal Auto Show. We’ve already talked about the design, performance, features and pricing of this electric crossover. Now, here are five things you need to know about its infotainment system, which incorporates next-generation …
NewsFord Co-Pilot360 Enhanced With Hands-free Driving Assist and More
Semi-autonomous driving is coming to Ford vehicles in a similar move to Tesla’s Autopilot and General Motors’ Super Cruise . It’s part of a major enhancement to the Ford Co-Pilot360 active safety system. The Car Guide attended a media presentation yesterday and here’s what we learned. Mustang Mach-E Kicks Things …
News2021 Ford Edge Gets SYNC 4 With 12-inch Display
If you like SUVs and technology, take note: the Ford Edge becomes just the second vehicle in the lineup to receive the new SYNC 4A infotainment system, which debuts in the Mustang Mach-E . For 2021, the automaker’s two-row midsize SUV gets a significant update inside and out. Offered as …
Technology/Autonomous VehiclesAmazon's Alexa is Coming to Ford Vehicles
The Alexa personal assistant will soon become part of Ford vehicles, the automaker announced in a joint presentation with Amazon. Using voice commands, drivers will be able to control the radio or get weather and traffic information in real time while keeping both hands on the steering wheel. Alexa will …