CES 2018: SYNC 3-Enabled Ford Vehicles Gaining Waze Support Through iOS AppLink

Thursday January 11, 2018 4:09 AM PST by Mitchel Broussard

This week at CES, Ford provided new details about a partnership with navigation app Waze, which will bring Waze's GPS directions onto the touch screen of SYNC 3 vehicles when connected via USB to an iPhone. Powered by Ford AppLink, the feature will let users operate Waze "completely through a vehicle's touch screen," as well as allow for voice control.

As long as the Ford vehicle includes a SYNC 3 infotainment system, users will be able to plug their iPhone into the USB port while running Waze to see the app projected onto the dashboard's touch screen system. Afterwards, all of Waze's features will be accessible, including crowdsourced navigation updates, liking and disliking user-created warnings, adding a new hazard report, carpool lane navigation, and Talk to Waze voice commands.

“Our goal is to bring a human-centered approach to technology in the vehicle, making it as easy as possible for people to integrate the tools that matter most to them,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “With the flexibility of our SYNC 3 software and AppLink, customers can easily use Waze to get all the traffic and navigation help they need – on a big screen and without having to fiddle around with their phones while driving.”

The partnership was previously announced at Mobile World Congress last year, and Waze product lead for in-car applications, Jens Baron, mentioned that the company has been working on optimizing the Waze experience on an infotainment system since that time. Using Ford's AppLink SmartDeviceLink (SDL) on iOS, Baron explained that users will "get the most updated version from Waze," and it will be the same as driving with Waze on a smartphone.

Ford explained that the Waze integration will launch in the coming weeks and will be supported on any 2018 model year Ford vehicle that has SYNC 3 version 3.0 or greater. Other vehicles with SYNC 3 will also be able to get Waze via an over-the-air update or update via USB. In addition to Waze, Ford said that other SYNC AppLink integrations will be coming soon, like iHeartRadio.

Ford began expanding its CarPlay support in mid 2016 when it announced its SYNC 3 infotainment system -- which features CarPlay and Android Auto -- would be available across its entire 2017 lineup of cars, SUVs, light trucks, and electric vehicles in the United States. Then in 2017, Ford released a SYNC 3 software update that added CarPlay and Android Auto support to its older 2016 model year vehicles, allowing more users to access Apple apps like Maps, Phone, Music, Messages, and more on their dashboard.

Top Rated Comments

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29 months ago

Not a great deal. Just means broadcasting your screen to the car screen. This is no different than AppRadio or even CarPlay. Still means your phone is the one doing all the processing and taking the battery hit.

Waze is a resource hog, kills your battery, and attempts to track your location even when you're not using it. While it's great for getting you places, it's horrid in so many other ways.

Your phone will be plugged in to use this, so battery should not be an issue beyond maybe slower charging.
This is actually an interesting option for iPhone users to gain access to an alternative navigation software besides Apple Maps.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
What has kept Apple from allowing Waze on CarPlay?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

I prefer Apple Maps in CarPlay, but this is pretty cool news nonetheless. More options are nice. At the very least, it confirms that SYNC 3 v3.0 is coming to our MKX’s :)


Waze is a must for daily commuting.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

Not a great deal. Just means broadcasting your screen to the car screen. This is no different than AppRadio or even CarPlay. Still means your phone is the one doing all the processing and taking the battery hit.

Waze is a resource hog, kills your battery, and attempts to track your location even when you're not using it. While it's great for getting you places, it's horrid in so many other ways.


I disagree. IMO, this is a big deal and a step in the right directions for car makers, so people do not need to worry whether their car will support Android or Apple car solutions.

As for Waze itself, all the major navigation apps have a big impact on battery, so it is better to drive with your phone plugged in anyway. As for constant location tracking, this is wrong too, as in iOS 11 you can set Waze to tracking you only when the app is active. Besides, Waze has a dedicated Switch Off button in the app itself, which totally disabled all of its activities until the next launch.

Happy driving!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

Not a great deal. Just means broadcasting your screen to the car screen. This is no different than AppRadio or even CarPlay. Still means your phone is the one doing all the processing and taking the battery hit.

Waze is a resource hog, kills your battery, and attempts to track your location even when you're not using it. While it's great for getting you places, it's horrid in so many other ways.


I'll concur on all counts... except that with the most recent iOS version we are no longer forced to choose "track always" or "track never". The option to "track while using the app" is permanently available. Makes a HUGE difference.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

What has kept Apple from allowing Waze on CarPlay?


I guess people using Waze instead of Apple Maps, so less live traffic feedback from iPhone users? For accurate road conditions, Waze is still a king, so Apple Maps would be losing there.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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