When it was released in 2007, Ford Sync was a huge innovation in in-car infotainment systems. Now the automaker is about to release the Sync 3 system.

The original Sync was the first in-car system to be largely software-based, which enabled owners to update their systems and add new features. Another first was its primary aim of integrating with mobile devices, as well as its introduction across the product range rather than only in high-end models.

Ford To Release Sync 3 Infotainment System

Ahead of the curve

The introduction of the system helped to insulate Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) against the effects of the economic crisis, and forged the company a reputation as a tech innovator. It took a few years for other automakers to focus their infotainment systems on portable devices.

The initial success of the system was tainted by the poor performance of the second-generation Sync with MyFord Touch, which led to criticism from Consumer Reports. Both consumers and critics found the system clunky and claimed that it would often crash.

All of this means that Sync 3 is incredibly important, in terms of saving Ford’s reputation in the field and battling a now more sophisticated field of rival systems. Ford claims that the new system has more research behind it than any other product the company has ever made, and takes on board over 22,000 user comments.

Ford’s Sync 3 Features

Sync 3 will allow for over-the-air software updates via a WiFi connection, which means owners will no longer have to update their systems via a USB. Owners will also enjoy a simplified home screen layout with large touch-screen icons.

iOS users will be able to use Siri Eyes Free, and Ford claims to have improved its voice recognition software. Pinch-and-swipe maps have been added to aid navigation, as well as an auto-fill search function. In the event of a crash, the improved 911 Assist feature will contact first responders with information on the type of crash and the number of safety belts in use at the time.

Although the Sync 3 does not break new ground as its first incarnation did, it looks set to claw back Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s reputation in in-car infotainment systems with important improvements over the flop that was MyFord Touch.