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Tech upgrades boost Ford models

Behave: MyKey allows parents to limit speed and stereo volume and it has debuted in the Fiesta ST and will be rolled out to more models.

Ford has added AppLink to its infotainment system, while more cars get MyKey

8 Oct 2014

FORD Australia has announced an in-car technology upgrade which will see the debut of AppLink for hands-free access to smartphone apps and the roll-out of MyKey to more models.

Available now in the Focus ST, Fiesta ST and Kuga range, AppLink is a new feature for Ford’s Sync multimedia platform that allows users to connect to iOS and Android smartphone applications.

Using the vehicle’s display screen, steering wheel controls and voice commands drivers can access the apps without touching or looking at the phone.

From early 2015 AppLink will also be available across the rest of the Fiesta and Focus range, as well as the EcoSport crossover, Ranger ute and Transit delivery van ranges.

Club Connect, Omny, Glimpse, Spotify, ESPN CricInfo and Pandora Internet Radio are among the first apps to be included in AppLink at launch.

While better access to apps is one of the benefits for drivers, Ford stands to gain from targeted advertising opportunities, which partnerships with companies such as Pandora will offer.

In the United States, Pandora tailors advertising to vehicles and it will soon be using targeted advertising to cars here.

With driver distraction being a major factor in accidents and with many states handing down fines and issuing demerit points for touching a mobile phone while driving, Ford Asia Pacific supervisor of multimedia systems Adrian McGibbon said the new technology improves driver safety.

“AppLink gives drivers voice control over their favourite smartphone apps whilst keeping their hand on the wheel and eyes on the road,” he said.

“AppLink is the next stage of digital device integration and is a great addition to Ford’s Sync platform.”

In another addition to safety technology minimising driver distraction, Ford announced MyKey is to be rolled out across the Fiesta, Focus, and upcoming Mondeo and Mustang ranges.

MyKey, which made its Australian debut on the new Fiesta ST in 2013 is aimed at parents and allows them to limit the car’s top speed, restrict the stereo volume, and add seatbelt and fuel reminder alerts.

This year Ford has made a number of specification updates to in-car technology, with the most recent being in July when Sync Emergency Assistance was added to the Focus small car range.

Ford’s next-generation infotainment system, Sync2, will make its Australian debut in the new Falcon and Territory due to arrive at the end of this year.

The latest system will offer more flexibility than the current system and will be equipped with an Australian English vocabulary and accent recognition.

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