It was only halfway through last year that popular GPS navigation app Waze appeared on Android Auto, four years after Google introduced the platform to improve the connected experience for Android device owners. While many automakers have built their own solutions, others have made acquisitions to aid in their efforts such as Audi, BMW, and Daimler when they acquired HERE Maps in a multi-billion dollar deal.
This week at CES 2018, Ford unveiled comprehensive Waze integration with its SYNC platform thanks to AppLink technology. After connecting a Waze-equipped smartphone to the USB socket inside a car with Ford SYNC 3, the app's functions and options will become accessible via the vehicle's touchscreen. The integrated experience even includes access to more recently implemented features such as high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) routing for carpoolers as well as the "Talk to Waze" capability.
With respect to the announcement, B2B and in-car applications product lead Jens Baron said:
"We are happy to showcase our partnership with Ford through AppLink SDL on iOS – a seamless in-car navigation experience that connects Waze navigation to your car’s console. With SDL, Waze guidance is presented onto the driver’s in-car screen and new features are made available as soon as they are released. With SDL, drivers get the most updated version from Waze – with all the new features and design releases, the same as driving with Waze on your phone."
Waze AppLink integration is expected to launch "in the coming weeks" with 2018 Ford vehicle models boasting the app projection capability off the bat. Otherwise, vehicles with SYNC 3 will be able to gain access to the capability through either a manual USB update or an over-the-air update.
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