Published: September 17, 2014 | United States
Automatic Labs and Ford Motor Company announced a joint experimental collaboration to improve the driving experience for Ford & Lincoln vehicle owners. Together, the companies will test and develop new features that provide enhanced capabilities to Ford and Lincoln vehicle owners, enabling drivers to opt-in to provide data from their vehicle and use that information to be smarter, safer drivers.
While Automatic’s device has been available in Apple and Best Buy stores since last year, this is the first time the company has teamed up with an auto manufacturer to experiment with its in-vehicle entertainment and communications system.
Siri Voice Assistance
The first of several features available to drivers who use Automatic in supported Ford SYNC-equipped vehicles will make Apple’s Siri personal assistant application accessible on Apple iPhone through the push-to-talk button on the steering wheel. This means drivers will not have to reach for their iPhone while operating their vehicle, allowing them to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Automatic will provide greater convenience to drivers by connecting the push-to-talk button to the “Internet of Things,” enabling access to the popular If This Then That, or IFTTT, web service, which automates actions using the Internet. (If This Then That), is a simple service that lets you create powerful connections between triggers and actions on the internet, like automatically turning the lights on when you park by your house, or automatically letting your friends on Facebook know when you drive back home.
Ford SYNC already allows drivers to make calls, listen to music and get directions with an optional navigation feature through the touch of a button on the steering wheel—all while keeping hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Existing technology from Automatic uses a small device and a mobile app to connect a driver’s smartphone to his or her vehicle’s onboard computer. Customers will be given the option to opt-in to Automatic, which will provide data that can help remember where the vehicle is parked and more.
“Ford’s powerful in-car technology makes working with Ford highly valuable for us. Ford’s interface—coupled with Automatic’s connected services platform—enables us to bring customized one-touch applications to Ford drivers that go beyond the capabilities of either technology on its own.” – Thejo Kote, Automatic CEO
The new Ford Automatic integration will be available by downloading the latest version of the Automatic iOS app in coming weeks.