Ford Brings Siri Eyes Free Support to 5 Million Vehicles Dating Back to 2011

While many carmakers are starting to roll out support for Apple's CarPlay in-vehicle functionality, an older Siri Eyes Free feature is also designed to help minimize driver distraction by using Siri voice recognition and spoken responses to allow drivers to interact with an iPhone without needing to look at the screen.

Siri Eyes Free is generally activated through a hardware button on the vehicle's steering wheel and is available in a number of makes and models, and Ford today is officially announcing the launch of Eyes Free support for over five million vehicles dating back to the 2011 model year via a software update to Ford's second-generation SYNC infotainment system.

“SYNC, Ford’s entertainment and communications system, was designed to be flexible and updatable, just like other mobile technologies, so our customers are able to get the most out of their smartphones while behind the wheel,” said Sherif Marakby, director, Ford Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering. “Siri Eyes-Free is another great voice-activated feature that not only adds convenience but helps our customers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”

Eyes Free support actually went live two months ago with the launch of version 3.8 of the second-generation SYNC software, but Ford has apparently waited until now to make the rollout official as it has worked to apply the update to new cars coming from the factory and make it available to owners of existing vehicles.

Apple also lists Ford as one of its CarPlay partners, but the automaker has yet to announce specific plans for supporting it in upcoming vehicles. The most recent information from Ford indicates CarPlay support will be arriving "relatively soon."

Top Rated Comments

H2SO4 Avatar
74 months ago
This kind of thing is virtually unheard of. Damned good show Ford.
I can’t wait for Apple to bring 10.11 to the original Mac Pro too.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Soccertess Avatar
74 months ago
way to go Ford! Companies that realize that the new model of providing updates to keep up with technology is the future.

My BMW was useless when I drove it out the dealership. $200 a year for map updates! WtF
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Robert.Walter Avatar
74 months ago
And then there is Honda.

Successfully field tested CarPlay on production hardware in customer vehicles over a year ago. The install was made via a USB stick sent to customers.

Meanwhile the CarPlay advertising shows s Honda head unit and for the last year Honda dealers encouraged customers not to wait but to buy and later install CarPlay with a firmware update.

The customers that bought this b.s. were later screwed when Honda announced they (care about current customer satisfaction and more about selling new cars) are not going to backward support vehicles in the field that have the display audio head unit on which CarPlay was successfully tested.

I'm so hoping for a class action lawsuit.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gijoeinla Avatar
74 months ago
I'm actually surprised :). I can confirm that for me they seemed to be able to force this update to your car. At least that's how my ford got its update.

I now get all my iPhone text messages through the Sync system. Some or all of the text related features are motion restricted. Meaning you can't always read them but sometimes your offered a listen option.

You must enable text messaging on the "phone" screen for this "text" feature to work.

If this promo is true in that Siri now speaks thru Sync itself is a pretty significant upgrade to a horrible interface :))). Two thumbs up for Ford...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thalazy Avatar
74 months ago
Love this update. Took me about 30 minutes. One thing I loved about having a Windows phone was the ability to read back texts. Once I went back to iOS, I lost that feature. Ford has really stepped it up with this update. Makes me enjoy my car a little bit more.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Noble Actual Avatar
74 months ago
Siri's not even out on the Mac yet....
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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