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Ford and Automatic sync up to improve car connectivity

Ford Sync-equipped vehicles will soon connect to the Automatic Smart Driving Monitor and app, with eyes-free Siri one of the new perks.

Check out the 2015 Ford Focus, previously unveiled at Mobile World Congress.
Josh Miller/CNET
Josh Miller/CNET

Automatic Labs has partnered with Ford, allowing its Automatic Smart Driving Monitor to integrate with the Ford Sync voice-command system and enabling new features and increased driver safety.

The first fruit of this union will be the addition of Siri connectivity to the Ford Sync feature mix -- eyes-free. With the aid of Automatic, which is currently only available in the US, iPhone-toting Ford drivers will be able to press a single button on their steering wheel to activate the voice-assistant software on their Apple device -- all without touching or even looking at their phone.

Automatic Labs Automatic
The Automatic Smart Driving Monitor pairs your smartphone to your car's on-board diagnostics system. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Ford Sync users will also be able to take advantage of Automatic's integration with the IFTTT action automation service to add even more functionality. You'll be able to trigger the service's recipes to send a text message, for example, or an email saying you'll be late. Other IFTTT recipes could enable you to activate the Web-connected lights in your home. You'll be able to build your own IFTTT recipes from the roughly 80 Web services supported and then access them using Ford Sync's push-to-talk steering wheel button.

"Ford is always looking for new ways, including working with other innovative companies, to improve our customers' experience," said Don Butler, executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services at Ford. "Teaming up with Automatic will bring added capability to Ford Sync, while enhancing the driving experience."

The Automatic integration is coming to a variety of Sync-equipped Ford and Lincoln vehicles between the model years 2011 and 2015 "in the coming weeks" according to the developer. Check Automatic's site for details and compatibility.