Ford has announced a brand new Enlarge / Sync 4 system, which will see large screens fitted in its motor vehicles. The legendary manufacturer has designed the new system in order to make travelling in Ford vehicles more engaging and absorbing.
Infotainment is becoming increasingly important in the motor trade, with the likes of Tesla, Volvo, and Subaru having already included vertically-oriented screens in their vehicles. Inter-car entertainment is a new front in the ongoing competitive war in the industry, with this aspect of modern cars becoming as important as performance, reliability, comfort, style, and safety.
What is particularly interesting about the Sync 4 system is that it will represent the largest touchscreen to be included in a standard Ford automobile thus far. The largest display currently available in a Ford vehicle is the 10-inch display included in the Explorer range. But Ford announced that its newest vehicles will come complete with 12 and 15-inch touchscreens, with the latter being larger than any current Apple iPad.
Ford has definitely taken the lead from Tesla in this department, with the Model 3 sedan from the electric car manufacturer featuring a 15-inch screen. Not only does this provide infotainment functionality, but it also controls many functions within the vehicle. The push for larger screens is indicative of an expectation for in-car entertainment, in an era in which mobile devices are so culturally prominent.
Indeed, Gary Jablonski, the chief engineer who runs Ford’s infotainment efforts, acknowledged that smartphones have been the benchmark for comparison going forward when developing the Sync 4 system. This latest generation of the in-car entertainment system will thus offer the sort of features that are associated with mobile phones.
For example, a sophisticated cloud-connected navigation system will be included, meaning that users no longer need to rely on mobile devices. Traffic data fed into the system will be extremely detailed, and will be updated in real-time, on an almost second-by-second basis.
The larger screen space also makes it possible for Ford to display multiple applications simultaneously, effectively enabling multitasking. Customization has also been built into the system, with Ford ensuring that drivers can automatically configure the arrangement based on which apps are used most frequently.
Voice-control features have also been built into Sync 4, and the system will be updated on a regular basis via over-the-air downloads. In order to power all of these new features, Ford has included a processor that has a double the power of the previous generation.
There is no word yet on which models the new screens and systems will be included with, or how quickly we can expect to see them make their debut. But considering that Sync has already been installed in 30 million cars over the last 10 years, we can expect this new larger screen to appear in the foreseeable future.