The motor vehicle industry has been pretty quick to integrate when it comes to modern technology. Hybrid and fully electric cars are becoming more and more commonplace and we are not far off from a self-driving car either. This is good news for those in the tech industry from app developers to 3rd party product engineers to drivers themselves. The automobile industry is over 100 years old and, the fact that it has embraced technology so liberally is something that we can all be grateful for.
Ford however, one of the world’s biggest and most recognisable car brands has not been as quick as its rivals in terms of integrating tech, especially when apps and their usage are concerned. At the LA Auto Show however Ford has revealed its first foray into the world of apps with its Sync Connect app which is set to work with the next generation Ford Escape which is scheduled for release in 2017.
Apps and the Internet of Things
The role that apps play in the Internet of Things cannot be understated. Quite simply apps are the glue, that blend of the physical and non-physical that allows the wonderful to take place whether that is being able to control your home thermostat from the office or sync your baby monitor to your home. The application of apps is astounding and far reaching. To be able to control aspects of your car’s functionality from your smartphone just makes sense.
Obviously, as a London based digital agency, we know this but we are glad the Ford knows this too. When such a big player in any industry changes tack and focuses on apps it can only be a good thing for the tech industry as a whole.
Don Butler, Ford’s director of connected vehicles and services agrees and commented that “With where we see the industry going, built-in connectivity will become an increasing part of what we do.” In other words once you app you can’t go back, or something along those lines at least.
In all seriousness though Ford has now joined with other automobile manufacturers in realising the possibilities that connectivity with a smartphone can bring. For the consumer it makes life easier and for the manufacturer there is a wealth of data that can help improve the user experience and make cars better.
Late for work? Excuses are slowly disappearing
One really interesting feature of the app which is called Sync Connect (a functional if uninspiring name) is that you can pre-schedule when your car starts in the morning. If you leave at 7am for instance you can pre-set your car to start at 6:50 am so it is warm and ready for when you leave, a handy feature to say the least.
As manufacturers get used to what tech can achieve we will see more and more integration with vehicles as well as other aspects of our lives. We’re still waiting on a flying car for sure but things are definitely moving in the right direction.