At CES last week, Ford CEO Alan Mullaly announced the second-generation of Ford's in-car telematics product: SYNC with Traffic, Directions and Information. Ford is utilizing Venrock portfolio company INRIX's Connected Services (Ford keynote video here, start at about half-way through the video), including:
- INRIX's third-generation routing engine which utilizes both real-time and predictive traffic information to provide routes and avoid traffic congestion. Routing without traffic is just hypothetical, as someone once said.
- Real-time traffic information based on data from a million GPS-enabled vehicles as well as road sensors and GPS-enabled devices.
- Various other services such as INRIX Alerting and Total Fusion Traffic.
A marketecture schematic diagram of the INRIX implementation is described here.
Alan Mullaly mentioned that SYNC-equipped Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles sell nearly twice as fast as those without SYNC. Also, Ford's entire North American product line will have this next-generation SYNC by summer 2009, which is quite a fast ramp considering the otherwise longer timelines for roll-out of new technologies in the automotive industry.
Alan Mullaly also went on to talk about how, in the future, Ford will provide a service delivery network that would integrate pretty openly with third-party web services.