How do you get drivers to stop using their phones for navigation? Offer up something better.
It's no secret that many motorists have taken to using their smartphones for navigation, eschewing the expensive OEM navigation systems that come fitted to many vehicle infotainment systems from the factory. The proliferation of systems for smartphone integration like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have only accelerated the trend.
But Ford may have found one very good reason for drivers to return to using its built-in navigation: Garmin. The industry-leading GPS system provider this week announced that it has partnered with Ford to power navigation in the Blue Oval's next-generation SYNC infotainment, starting with the Ford Mustang Mach-E later this year.
Garmin is among the most trusted satellite navigation providers in the world, largely dominating the consumer automotive and outdoor recreation GPS markets. The company's satellite navigation expertise could be enough to woo many Ford owners away from running Google Maps and Apple Maps from their phones, especially with features like cloud-based mapping and routing, EV routing, and EV range management info.
The inclusion of cloud-based mapping and routing, which presumably incorporates real-time traffic data in its route planning, removes one major advantage previously held by smartphone navigation apps. And as it pertains to EV drivers, being able to, say, highlight available charging stations and account for battery range limitations in route planning is key to winning over customers.
"We are delighted to embark on our first collaboration with Ford Motor Company and look forward to expanding our offerings across multiple vehicle platforms in the future," says Garmin's Automotive OEM Managing Director Matt Munn. "The introduction of Garmin's innovative navigation features to the SYNC platform in the Mach-E will help ensure that Ford's all electric customer base stays connected at all times."
Ford's SYNC 4 infotainment system promises to be "faster, easier and simpler than ever," according to the automaker, with major features including cloud-based connectivity, conversational voice recognition and, yes, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.