Starting today, 2010 Ford Fusion, Ford Mustang, Mercury Milan, and Mercury MKZ owners can download an upgrade from the SyncMyRide Web site that will let their Sync radios receive traffic information.
The upgrade enables Sync to "deliver voice-in, voice-out traffic updates and navigation cues plus weather, stock and news reports similar in some ways to OnStar," according to an article appearing in Twice.
Although there is no screen, the upgrade offers many of the features available in the Sync system with Sirius Travel Link service, such as traffic updates along navigation routes and weather, stock, and news updates.
The new features operate using the user's Bluetooth phone, which sends information over the phone's voice channel, according to Twice. No data plan is required from the carrier.
In June, 2010 Ford Edge, Taurus, and Super Duty trucks will be available with the new Sync system and the new service is free for first three years.
The article also reports that Ford is working with Pandora to enable the free Internet radio station to play through the car's sound system. This feature may be available in the next version of Sync, expected to debut in nine to 12 months, according to Twice. However, this feature more or less already available with any phone with a data plan and a car with an audio input outlet.
The automaker is also looking at integrating other applications with the system.
"We'll be able to link you to your Internet in the car. If you brought an iPhone into the vehicle, you could interact with that through voice. You could then read your e-mail by voice," said Joe Berry, Ford business and product development director for Sync, referring to a future version of Sync.