LAS VEGAS – Ford will offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all 2017 vehicles equipped with Sync 3, starting with the 2017 Ford Escape, the automaker said on Monday ahead of the 2016 CES.
Owners of 2016 vehicles equipped with Sync 3 will have the chance to upgrade later in the year.
“Sync allows customers to bring the smartphone technology they’re comfortable with into a vehicle and use it without hassle,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director of Connected Vehicle and Services, in a statement.
Ford is expanding its Sync 3 infotainment system, joining the race with other automakers to make such systems compatible with smartphones.
The Sync system is on about 15 million Ford vehicles. Ford expects that number to increase to 43 million by 2020.
Drivers can use their smartphones for navigation, music, calls and other features.
Ford is also expanding its in-vehicle smartphone application system, dubbed AppLink. It is adding new apps, including AAA member services and Concur expense report tracking.
The app for AAA members lets them check nearby gas prices, while Concur app clocks mileage on a business trip.
In addition, new Sync Connect technology powered by 4G LTE lets owners remotely access features of their car. Owners can program a remote start, unlock doors or locate a parked vehicle with their smartphone.
Apple and Android services are becoming popular with car shoppers and owners.
General Motors is offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on 2016 Chevrolets, including the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze.
Hyundai offers Android Auto on the 2015 Hyundai Sonata and plans to offer CarPlay this year.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers are demanding connectivity inside and outside of the vehicle. Ford is one of several automakers rising to the challenge.