Ford made a slew of announcements this week at CES for connected cities and cloud-based transportation services, but their partnership with Waze may have the most impact on drivers right now.
The automaker said Wednesday that the traffic app will work with 2018 Ford and Lincoln models equipped with the SYNC 3 infotainment system and a smartphone. Crucially for most Waze users, Ford’s system retains the app’s key features such as navigation, traffic updates and warnings, HOV lane support, and the new Talk to Waze feature.
Ford naturally found a fit with Waze, though. The traffic app is best known for crowdsourcing in order to navigate people out of congestion, road hazards, or other slowdowns, and the automaker is adamant about better connecting drivers and cities to improve transportation for everyone. At least Waze users no longer have to fumble with their phone while driving and can actually hear alerts through their SYNC-equipped car’s audio system.
At CES, Ford also jumped on the Amazon Alexa bandwagon, announcing the Ford+Alexa app for SYNC that lets drivers use skills through the assistant. Ford says it will issue an update for SYNC in the coming weeks that will allow Waze users to plug in their smartphone and use the app through the touchscreen or in-car voice commands. In all of Ford’s talk about a connected future, this change to SYNC might resonate with today’s drivers most.