Ford and Automatic Launch Collaboration to Improve Connected-Car Experiences

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Automatic platform will be enhanced to work better with millions of Ford vehicles to provide new and better connected experiences

Automatic Labs and Ford Motor Company today announced a joint collaboration to improve the driving experience for Ford vehicle owners. Together, the companies will develop new features that provide enhanced capabilities to vehicle owners, enabling them to gather data from their vehicle and use that information to be smarter, safer drivers.

Ford SYNC already allows drivers to make calls, listen to music and get directions with an optional navigation feature through the touch of a button on the steering wheel—all while keeping hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Existing technology from Automatic uses a small device and a mobile app to connect a driver’s smartphone to his or her vehicle’s onboard computer. This unleashes data that can help summon emergency services in an accident, remember where the vehicle is parked and more.

While Automatic’s device has been available in Apple and Best Buy stores since last year, this is the first time the company has teamed up with an auto manufacturer to leverage its in-vehicle entertainment and communications system.

“SYNC’s powerful technology makes working with Ford highly valuable for us,” said Automatic CEO Thejo Kote.

“The SYNC interface—coupled with Automatic’s connected services platform—enables us to bring customized one-touch applications to Ford drivers that go beyond the capabilities of either technology on its own.”

The first of several features available to drivers who use Automatic in supported Ford SYNC-equipped vehicles will make Apple’s Siri personal assistant application accessible on Apple iPhone through the Ford SYNC push-to-talk button on the steering wheel. This means drivers will not have to reach for their iPhone while operating their vehicle, allowing them to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

In addition, Automatic and Ford are providing greater convenience to drivers by connecting the SYNC button to the “Internet of Things,” enabling access to the popular If This Then That, or IFTTT, web service, which automates actions using the Internet. This allows drivers to use SYNC’s push-to-talk button to trigger an IFTTT recipe from among hundreds in the web service library. IFTTT recipes range from sending messages to remotely operating home appliances. Users will be able to create their own recipes as well. Automatic and Ford plan to launch additional connected-car enhancements in the coming months.

“Ford is always looking for new ways, including working with other innovative companies, to improve our customers’ experience,” said Don Butler, executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services at Ford.

“Teaming up with Automatic was the natural choice given their connected car technology and focus on enhancing the driving experience.”

Ford vehicles supported by Automatic’s technology include the 2011-2015 Ford Explorer, 2013-2015 Ford Flex, 2011-2014 Ford F-150, 2011-2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty and 2013-2015 Ford Taurus. Supported Lincoln vehicles include the 2013-2015 Lincoln MKS, 2013-2015 Lincoln MKT, 2011-2014 Lincoln MKX and the 2015 Lincoln Navigator. Ford and Automatic encourage drivers not to drive while distracted. Even with SYNC, drivers should use their phones or other devices only when it is safe.

“Automatic exists to help people drive safer and smarter,” said Kote. “We’re thrilled to be working with Ford to improve the overall driving experience by connecting our shared customers and their cars to the Internet.”

The new Ford SYNC-Automatic integration will be available by downloading the latest version of the Automatic iOS app in coming weeks. For more information, please visit www.automatic.com/partners/ford.[signoff predefined=”Enjoy this?” icon=”icon-users”][/signoff]

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