Modern families want to stay connected to each other and to friends, even when they’re on the go and miles apart. Ford Motor Company and Life360 want to help.
Ford will be the first automaker to offer in-car use of the popular family locator app Life360 with Drive Mode – a new capability that helps drivers stay focused on the road by alerting their family and friends not to text when they are driving.
- Ford Motor Company and Life360 will help keep family members in touch while commuting with the introduction of the SYNC AppLink enabled Life360 app with all-new Drive Mode feature
- Once the Life360 app is connected through available Ford SYNC AppLink, Drive Mode automatically alerts the driver’s loved ones that he or she is behind the wheel to encourage them not to text the person until they receive a follow-up alert stating the driver is no longer operating the vehicle
“Responsible driving habits are top priorities at Ford Motor Company, and we are pleased to be working with Life360 to help reduce driver distractions,” said Julius Marchwicki, Ford Connected Services Product manager. “With the integration of Life360 Drive Mode, we are helping to keep drivers’ attention on the road by letting their loved ones know that they are behind the wheel, encouraging family members and friends to hold off on sending texts.”
Life360 is a free smartphone app that helps family members and close friends stay in touch throughout their busy day. Users can see where their circle of family and friends are on a private map, stay connected through one-to-one or group messages, and get help in an emergency. Life360 launched in 2008, and there are now 48 million families worldwide using the app, which has been retooled to include Drive Mode for Ford SYNC AppLink equipped vehicles.
The AppLink-enabled Life360 app goes to work when the driver connects his or her smartphone to Ford SYNC via Bluetooth. The connection tells the app when the smartphone is in the car, which prompts the Drive Mode feature to send a message to everyone in the driver’s Life360 circle suggesting they not text the driver. A follow-up message is sent once the driver arrives at his or her destination and turns off the car.
Drivers can also check the latest location of family members through the SYNC display or with voice commands. By saying, “Mom’s location,” or asking “Where is Dave?” the system pinpoints the person’s location on a map and offers a location address.
Ford and Life360 will demonstrate the app at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 6-9. Drive Mode will be available initially for Android phones by spring.
“We are thrilled to be working with Ford to take on such an important issue and help reduce texting and driving,” said Chris Hulls, co-founder and CEO, Life360. “Keeping families connected is one of our core tenets, and we’re proud our technology can also help play a key role in promoting distraction-free driving.”
Ford SYNC – the industry’s first system to widely and most affordably offer voice-activated control of mobile phones – allows drivers to make and receive calls, and operate other features hands-free using voice commands. Ford SYNC AppLink allows customers to connect their smartphone to their vehicle and control their compatible apps using voice commands or buttons on the vehicle display. With launch of SYNC 3, Ford’s next-generation communications and entertainment system, AppLink will automatically discover and load the Life360 app onto the in-vehicle screen.
SYNC is already on the road in more than 10 million vehicles worldwide. Ford encourages customers to only use mobile phones and other devices, even with voice commands, when it is safe to do so.
- Ford and AccuWeather now make using the smartphone app easier by enabling it to work with SYNC AppLink. AccuWeather MinuteCast brings minute-by-minute, hyper-localized weather forecasts to a driver’s exact street address
- AccuWeather for Ford SYNC AppLink helps drivers plan and time their trips around weather conditions, and gives advance warning of inclement weather
Ford Motor Company and AccuWeather are joining together to integrate one of the country’s leading weather apps featuring hyper-localized weather forecasting into the vehicle.
“The new integration of AccuWeather for Ford SYNC AppLink will bring our customers the most up-to-date weather information while on the road,” said Julius Marchwicki, Ford Connected Services Product manager. “The system is easy to use, and with the addition of MinuteCast, drivers will get minute-by-minute forecasts for up to two hours to help them make safer driving decisions during bad weather.”
AccuWeather, a global leader in digital weather information, is introducing its MinuteCast to Ford SYNC AppLink customers. The technology uses an exact street address or GPS location to provide minute-by-minute weather forecasting, information about precipitation type, intensity and duration to the driver.
By selecting MinuteCast on the vehicle display menu, the driver will see a static image of the weather condition he or she will soon face, and the time the precipitation is expected to happen on the route. An audio warning will also be delivered. The service is available for a growing list of countries worldwide including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland and Japan.
Steven Smith, chief digital officer for AccuWeather, said the AppLink-enabled AccuWeather app will make getting this information easier for commuters.
“We are thrilled to have our award-winning app available to drivers through SYNC AppLink,” said Smith. “With important features such as severe weather alerts and AccuWeather MinuteCast, our minute-by-minute precipitation forecast, Ford SYNC AppLink is connecting users with the weather information they need when they need it as they travel, to help provide a better driving experience.”
Ford set the benchmark for in-car connectivity with SYNC, which allows drivers to pair their mobile phones, make and receive calls, and operate other features hands-free using voice control.
- Radio Disney app for iOS and Android platforms will now integrate with available Ford SYNC AppLink to stream music devoted to kids, tweens and families with a simple touch of a button inside Ford vehicles
- Ford is the first automaker to integrate Radio Disney; AppLink users will be able to access the app in early 2015
Ford Motor Company today announced the Radio Disney smartphone app will soon be available to Ford SYNC AppLink users. Drivers will be able to stream music devoted to kids, tweens and families 24 hours a day inside a Ford vehicle at the touch of a button.
“While there are many music-streaming apps currently compatible with AppLink, Radio Disney is the first family-oriented music app,” said Julius Marchwicki, Ford Connected Services Product manager. “Drivers will be able to keep the entire family entertained while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel.”
The Radio Disney app goes to work when the driver connects his or her smartphone to available Ford SYNC via Bluetooth. A static image of an artist’s CD cover will display on the screen along with play and pause buttons, allowing the driver to make music selections.
“We want to provide kids and families easy access to Radio Disney, and working with Ford presents a great opportunity to connect them while on the go,” said Eric Goldstein, vice president, Distribution and Consumer Engagement, Radio Disney. “With added integration of Ford SYNC AppLink technology in the Radio Disney app, kids can share their favorite music and programming in-car for a safe and interactive entertainment experience.”
Radio Disney is a 24-hour radio network devoted to kids, tweens and families. The app features family-friendly music by some of today’s most popular artists, as well as video with artist interviews and live performances. It is widely recognized as a music industry influencer, reaching nearly 21 million listeners each week.
Ford set the benchmark for in-car connectivity with SYNC. Through a paired mobile phone, Ford SYNC allows drivers to make and receive calls, as well as operate other features hands-free using voice controls. With Ford SYNC AppLink, customers can control their compatible apps using voice commands or buttons on the vehicle display. With the launch of available SYNC 3, Ford’s next-generation communications and entertainment system, AppLink will automatically discover and load the Radio Disney app onto the in-vehicle screen.
Ford SYNC AppLink is already in more than 1.5 million vehicles on the road in North America.
Radio Disney for Ford SYNC AppLink will be on display at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 6-9, and available to customers in early 2015.
The new technology will be demonstrated at the 2015 International CES, the largest consumer electronics show, Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas.