Ford adds Google Maps driving directions into Microsoft powered SYNC

Ford has announced it plans to add a Google Maps 'Send to SYNC' service to beam driving directions into SYNC enabled cars for free.

Ford has picked Google Maps over Bing Maps for its SYNC technology, powered by Microsoft Auto. Launched in 2007, Ford SYNC is available in select cars and providers drivers with voice-activated dialing, services news, weather and traffic reports. SYNC users can connect up their phones, MP3 players and other Bluetooth devices to use in the car. SYNC runs on Microsoft's Auto, an embedded operating system based on Windows CE.

'Send to SYNC' is a new capability added to the Ford Service Delivery Network, the company's cloud-based architecture, which provides a suite of voice-activated services accessible through a users mobile phone. "Printing paper directions from a website is a relic in our digital age," said Doug VanDagens, director of Ford Connected Services Solutions Organization. "With Send to SYNC, you can map a destination at home, at work – wherever you have connectivity."

When users visit Google Maps on the web to find locations, they will have the option to send a selected destination to their Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle via a "send" menu on the site. An optimal route is then calculated using the latest traffic information and is then downloaded to the car for navigation to begin. Ford says the capability will launch later this month.

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29 Comments

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Not much is talked about how MS dominates the auto market, their products are used by FORD, FIAT and KIA, all 3 are major car makers.

Beastage said,
Not much is talked about how MS dominates the auto market, their products are used by FORD, FIAT and KIA, all 3 are major car makers.
Microsoft's definitely done a good job in the auto market. No one else seems to be making much of an effort, which is a shame really.

Its just an option I dont see the competition stuff. More Andriod phones using google maps so yea they are going to add it.

Where does it say they picked google maps over Bing maps in the link? It just an option to send directions from google maps to SYNC. MapQuest is getting that option also and maybe later on Bing and Yahoo maps. Ford added Andriod powered phones so it makes sense to add google maps.

Doli said,
Where does it say they picked google maps over Bing maps in the link? It just an option to send directions from google maps to SYNC. MapQuest is getting that option also and maybe later on Bing and Yahoo maps. Ford added Andriod powered phones so it makes sense to add google maps.

It doesn't have to because its a matter of competition. If you choose to do something, you choose not to do something else. They choose Google and not Bing. It doesn't mean that Bing won't come, just for now, Google is what they support.

I'd feel like someone just back handed me if I was Microsoft, hehe. But I suppose its a win for all parties involved, either way.

Since my vehicle doesn't have Nav I presently get this information from the "Services" section. It gets my location then downloads the trip to my vehicle. It'd be handy to be able to push directions to the car - in much the same way it's handy to be able to initiate a content download through Xbox Live.

It's still going to have to go through my phone somehow since the Sync system can't communicate with the outside world on it's own.

Anyway, pretty cool system - my brother just got a car with Sync too. I happened to be at the dealer last night and they said that 80-90% of the cars they're selling have Sync. It was a major factor in choosing my last car.

The Sync website has some demos here: http://www.SyncMyRide.com

Unfortunately there's no aftermarket option or I'd add it to my 2006 vehicle. Also, older versions require a software upgrade for some features. Not cheap. And the oldest systems can't support newer features because the hardware can't be upgraded.

Oh well, there's always room for a competitor to solve these problems!

James Brooks said,
Ironic that they're using Google Maps in a Microsoft based service.

The difference is that MS gets paid for sync, it's licensed. Does google get anything out of this maps option? It doesn't sound like it, but I can't be sure.

GP007 said,

The difference is that MS gets paid for sync, it's licensed. Does google get anything out of this maps option? It doesn't sound like it, but I can't be sure.

Implies you use your home pc to find the locations and then send to your car. Means google maps page will be more used and whatever benefits google maps gets googles will become better for google. Also, it promotes the use of android phones if they can tie them together directly.

"When users visit Google Maps on the web to find locations, they will have the option to send a selected destination to their Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle via a "send" menu on the site."

James Brooks said,
Ironic that they're using Google Maps in a Microsoft based service.

Ya it is weird that Microsoft created a platform that isn't locked to just their technology like Google and Apple does...

(Google is supposed to be the FOSS company, and yet they lock out everyone else on their platforms. Maybe we can hope that someday Google will be as 'open' as Microsoft. Bing anything on Droid, anyone?)

GP007 said,

The difference is that MS gets paid for sync, it's licensed. Does google get anything out of this maps option? It doesn't sound like it, but I can't be sure.

Whether they get direct payment or just get more data to use in their advertising system, it really doesn't matter. Information on where you are and going is precious information that Google does datamine to provide you with the best ads. THIS IS HOW GOOGLE MAKES MONEY, USING INFORMATION ON YOU AND WHAT YOU DO IN THE WORLD.

SputnikGamer said,

Implies you use your home pc to find the locations and then send to your car. Means google maps page will be more used and whatever benefits google maps gets googles will become better for google. Also, it promotes the use of android phones if they can tie them together directly.

"When users visit Google Maps on the web to find locations, they will have the option to send a selected destination to their Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle via a "send" menu on the site."

There definitely must be some huge incentive from google to do so because if you price out google maps vs bing maps, google maps is a large number more so on cost and their sales reps won't move on the price unless you are a huge company.

Either one of them, you have to pay according to their licensing, but using bing maps saves my company around $15K a year.

thenetavenger said,

Ya it is weird that Microsoft created a platform that isn't locked to just their technology like Google and Apple does...

(Google is supposed to be the FOSS company, and yet they lock out everyone else on their platforms. Maybe we can hope that someday Google will be as 'open' as Microsoft. Bing anything on Droid, anyone?)

How do Google and Apple lock people out of their respective platforms? Your statement makes no sense. You can use the crappy Bing search on Android and iOS devices. You can even use the bad Bing Maps. Why would you though, when you can use the superior Google Maps and Google Search?

thenetavenger said,

Ya it is weird that Microsoft created a platform that isn't locked to just their technology like Google and Apple does...

(Google is supposed to be the FOSS company, and yet they lock out everyone else on their platforms. Maybe we can hope that someday Google will be as 'open' as Microsoft. Bing anything on Droid, anyone?)

I don't see how a free and open source operating system can be closed/locked. You can download the source code for Android at http://source.android.com/ if you want to. If you want to use Microsoft's stuff, you have to pay them a licensing fee. You can then do whatever you want on their platform, but the source code of the platform itself is still exclusive to Microsoft.

Simon said,
I don't see how a free and open source operating system can be closed/locked. You can download the source code for Android at http://source.android.com/ if you want to. If you want to use Microsoft's stuff, you have to pay them a licensing fee. You can then do whatever you want on their platform, but the source code of the platform itself is still exclusive to Microsoft.

You do realize that in order to bypass or change many aspect of Android, you have to hack the device and then it no longer gets support/updates from Google or the carrier?

It may be an OSS OS, but that doesn't mean you can just play with the guts without reprocussions. Hell even bending apps outside of the Google Java library nightmare is not possible without violating your carrier terms.

Sure it is an OSS OS, but it is still less modular and open for development/features than freaking WinCE unless you want to hack the device.

Why this doesn't make sense to people, scares me. People were screaming 10 yrs ago about how OPEN Apple was with Darwin and OS X, blah blah, and today it is the most patchworked and closed OS in the world.

If you want to teach OS technology, you can more easily get NT and Win32 code from Microsoft as an educator than you can get anything about OS X beyond the dried up Darwin releases that are no longer relevant.

Bullhead said,

How do Google and Apple lock people out of their respective platforms? Your statement makes no sense. You can use the crappy Bing search on Android and iOS devices. You can even use the bad Bing Maps. Why would you though, when you can use the superior Google Maps and Google Search?

Are you serious? The iPad/iPhone/iTouch alone are so closed that you are locked into an Apple applicaiton and marketplace. Try using a Droid phone with iTunes, how well does that work for you? Oddly enough, you can use a Droid with Sync, because Microsoft DOESN'T LOCK the PLATFORM.

The Sync platform that is running on WinCE is open to any phone/device/technology and Microsoft turned over the platform of Sync to work with anything that anyone want to develop for it, including giving Ford control of what they do with it.

Panda X said,
What's wrong with Bing! maps?

I guess Google maps is still a bit ahead outside of the US. I know here in greece google has newer images compared to bing for now, plus they're ahead in the whole streetview bit. But I don't think this will last long, MS did release the Bing Maps SDK, I don't see why Ford cant get that and use it to make things for Sync.

Panda X said,
What's wrong with Bing! maps?

It is not as good as Google. Google maps are faster, provide more detail, and are standards based. Bing Maps tries to force the proprietary Silverlight down your throat for things Google does with standards.

Bullhead said,

It is not as good as Google. Google maps are faster, provide more detail, and are standards based. Bing Maps tries to force the proprietary Silverlight down your throat for things Google does with standards.

I've never notice any difference in speed so please provide proof on that one. As for details, never noticed a difference.

I don't think it's so much what's wrong with Bing Maps, but more why would Bing Maps be better than Google Maps? Google's the more popular one, and besides the loyalty to Microsoft, there's no real reason why Bing would be a better choice.

Simon said,
I don't think it's so much what's wrong with Bing Maps, but more why would Bing Maps be better than Google Maps? Google's the more popular one, and besides the loyalty to Microsoft, there's no real reason why Bing would be a better choice.

I'm not saying Bing is better. It just seems random. Just because it's more popular means use it instead?

Bullhead said,

It is not as good as Google. Google maps are faster, provide more detail, and are standards based. Bing Maps tries to force the proprietary Silverlight down your throat for things Google does with standards.

I don't see why being non-"standard" would matter in this case, given that MS produces both Bing Maps and the Sync technology.

Bullhead said,

It is not as good as Google. Google maps are faster, provide more detail, and are standards based. Bing Maps tries to force the proprietary Silverlight down your throat for things Google does with standards.

+1