Dressed in a sweater Mr. Rogers would have approved, Ford CEO Alan Mulally delivered a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. While we're sure Ballmer liked the car well enough (after all, it is America's most fuel-efficient mid-size car with EPA numbers of 41 mpg city, 36 mpg highway), what truly impressed the Microsoft boss was that this vehicle was the millionth Ford to carry the SYNC feature. SYNC is powered by Microsoft Auto software.
Ford Microsoft SYNCEnlarge Photo
“We have made a commitment to deliver the vehicles that people really want and value,” Mulally said. “The success of SYNC is another proof point that we are doing just that. We will continue to innovate and expand the capability of SYNC by integrating even more new technologies that fit our customers’ lifestyles.”
Ford SYNC 1,000,000 Unit; delivered by Mulally to BallmerEnlarge Photo
SYNC is Ford’s fully integrated, voice-activated, in-car communications and entertainment system for mobile phones and digital music players. Since its debut in 2007 on the Ford Focus, SYNC has continued to gain in popularity. More than 80 percent of the vehicles Ford sells in North America are equipped with the system.
Like other advanced hardware and software solutions, SYNC continues to expand its applications. In 2008, SYNC was upgraded with two new applications, Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist™, and more are on the way. See a post by our own John Voelcker on this topic.
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid with 1 Millionth SYNC SystemEnlarge Photo
Ford’s latest SYNC application, Traffic, Directions and Information, will be available for download this summer. It will provide simple hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, precise driving directions and up-to-date information including business listings, news, sports scores and weather.
“Working with Microsoft and other key technology partners, we’ve made Ford the connectivity leader in the auto industry,” said Jim Buczkowski, director of electrical and electronic systems. “We do not plan to stand still; we have several additional developments in the pipeline, including launching SYNC in Europe and around the world.”