January 8, 2009

TeleNav and Inrix to power Ford Sync In-Dash Systems

Telenav is going to be powering Ford's Sync system with voice activated navigation, traffic feeds from Inrix, hands free calling and music access, audible text messages, and 911 assist. This is interesting as Ford has had a long standing relationship with Garmin for featuring GPS units with vehicles.

Inrix is bringing their "A" game to the party packing a new "alerting Service" allowing you to get personalized traffic alerts delivered to your car - pretty interesting to see how this might interface with the navigation system. I mean really - does Spock and Scottie come bundled in the Sync system too? "But Captain, there's a traffic jam ahead. Use the next exit and hit warp speed."

Telenav & Inrix Press Release Below......

Ford Motor Company Selects TeleNav to Power In-Car GPS Navigation

TeleNav-powered Ford SYNC™ with Traffic, Directions and Information

scheduled to be available in Ford vehicles later this year

LAS VEGAS - January 8, 2009 - TeleNav, Inc., the largest wireless navigation services provider in North America, announced today that Ford Motor Company will use TeleNav's GPS navigation software in the newest version of Ford's in-car connectivity system, SYNC with Traffic, Directions and Information. With this new version, users now have hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, precise turn-by-turn driving directions, and up-to-date information such as business listings, news, sports and weather.

"Connected navigation is a natural next step for SYNC," said Doug VanDagens, Director of the Connected Services Organization at Ford Motor Company. "TeleNav is a partner that brings a reputation for innovative, reliable and user-friendly GPS navigation solutions for mobile devices."

Introduced initially in the fall of 2007, SYNC provides customers the convenience and flexibility to bring Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones into their vehicles and operate various devices and services via voice commands. SYNC offers hands-free calling, hands-free digital music access, audible text messaging, 911 Assist and Vehicle Health report. Vehicles with SYNC are compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled cell phones and consumers can use any compatible cell phone with any compatible vehicle.

SYNC with Traffic, Directions and Information will expand this feature set to include voice-activated GPS navigation. Unlike other GPS navigation systems currently available in cars, SYNC will provide consumers the ability to access turn-by-turn voice and in-dash driving directions, just by syncing their Bluetooth-enabled cell phones with SYNC-compatible Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicles.

"Ford leads the automotive world in demonstrating how advanced connected navigation can be integrated into a variety of vehicles," said HP Jin, president, CEO and co-founder of TeleNav. "Whether customers are using SYNC for their daily commutes or while driving across the country, Ford offers a navigation experience that is simple to use and connected to the information they need. TeleNav is thrilled to help Ford deliver this experience."

Once paired, SYNC will allow customers the option of using voice commands to speak in destinations (addresses), providing a hands-free interface. After the destination is entered, traffic-optimized turn-by-turn directions will appear on the radio face plate and audio directions will be provided through the vehicle's speaker system. Audio and in-dash directions include street names and if drivers miss a turn, they will be provided with an option to receive an updated route.

SYNC is available on several Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars and trucks. For more information on SYNC, please visit www.syncmyride.com.

INRIX announced today that it has been selected by the Ford Motor Company to enable the new Ford SYNCTM with Traffic, Directions and Information (announced by Ford separately on January 7th) featuring personalized driving content and technology from INRIX Connected Services. The new Ford SYNC is the latest version of the award winning fully-integrated, voice activated in-car communication and entertainment system for your mobile phone and digital music player. New Ford car and truck owners will benefit from the latest generation Ford SYNC in-car connectivity platform with personalized voice-enabled traffic reports, traffic-influenced turn-by-turn directions, and traffic alerts provided to Ford, exclusively from INRIX. SYNC with Traffic Directions and Information will be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week and will be available in the Spring of 2009.

Using integrated GPS technology, Ford SYNC with Traffic, Directions and Information connects consumers to personalized traffic reports, precise turn-by-turn directions, business search, news, sports and weather. INRIX has also developed and is hosting components of the Web site for Ford SYNC users at www.syncmyride.com, where users can input preferences such as routing destinations and alert requests to further personalize their Ford SYNC experience.

"In SYNC with Traffic, Directions and Information, we're bringing to life the vision for the ultimate in-car experience that integrates best-in-class technology into the vehicle in a useful way. The personalized traffic, directions, content and alerts that INRIX provides are critical to delivering on that vision," said Doug VanDagens, Director, Ford Connected Services Organization, Ford Motor Company. "We collaborated closely on the design and development of their connected services platform to meet Ford's requirements."

INRIX Connected Services enhances the SYNC experience with:

* The introduction of the world's first 3rd Generation Routing Engine which uses both real-time and predictive traffic information to deliver true time-intelligent, traffic-influenced directions, taking the driving experience to a new level through smart routing and traffic congestion avoidance.
* The nation's broadest coverage and most accurate real-time traffic information leveraging the INRIX Traffic Fusion engine which intelligently blends real-time data from nearly a million GPS-enabled taxis, service vehicles, airport shuttle services and other commercial vehicles as well as consumer cellular GPS-based devices and traditional road sensor information.
* INRIX Total Fusion Traffic which provides speed information on more than 800,000 miles of roadways, including busy city streets and arterials, in addition to freeways and highways across the U.S.
* The new INRIX Alerting service which allows users to receive personalized traffic alerts delivered in the car via Web and voice-enabled user configuration.
* New location-aware, consumer-friendly access to traffic information, allowing SYNC users to get answers to questions such as "Traffic Ahead," "Fastest Route Home," and "Traffic Around Me," leveraging the new integrated GPS feature in new vehicles shipping with Ford SYNC.

"We are proud to partner with Ford to provide innovative solutions for the latest-generation of SYNC," commented Bryan Mistele, president and CEO of INRIX. "Ford is at the forefront of enabling two-way connectivity in the car and together with INRIX Connected Services, we will continue to ease commutes and improve the driving experience all over the country, one car at a time."

Ford SYNC owners will have access to a variety of features that leverage traffic and navigation in their everyday life. Via a simple button click, drivers will have instant voice access in SYNC-enabled cars to receive personalized location-relevant traffic information, traffic conditions along their most frequented routes and traffic-optimized directions along less familiar routes. Using the intuitive SYNC voice interface, a driver can get answers to questions like "what is traffic like between here and Las Vegas?" and "what is the fastest route to work right now?" On Syncmyride.com, Ford owners can also easily set up customized alerts for triggering real-time and predictive traffic reports sent via SMS messages to their phones.

"With SYNC, Ford is once again delivering a compelling technology breakthrough that showcases how auto OEMs can successfully differentiate to win in today's economy," said Phil Magney, vice president, automotive practice, iSuppli Corporation. "Tapping into SYNC's unique approach to two-way connectivity, INRIX adds tremendous value to the in-car experience for Ford with its industry-leading traffic and directions."

Read More in: CES 2009 | Traffic News

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Posted by Scott Martin at January 8, 2009 9:29 PM

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