Automaker Ford has released a system software update for five million vehicles that have its Sync infotainment systems, enabling Siri Eyes Free for those vehicles. The upgrade is compatible with vehicles dating back to the 2011 model year.
Ford initially revealed the Sync version 3.8 update with Siri Eyes Free compatibility in October, but held off on a wide release for unknown reasons. Official availability was announced through the company’s website.
Siri Eyes Free allows drivers of compatible vehicles to use in-car microphones and speakers to interact with Siri on a connected iPhone. In Ford vehicles a dedicated handsfree button on the steering wheel offers the same functionality as the iPhone’s Home button. Drivers press and hold it to activate Siri.
Siri Eyes-Free allows drivers to activate Siri with a long press of the voice recognition button on the steering wheel, similar activating Siri on an iPhone. Drivers can use just their voice to ask Siri for requests including:
- Making phone calls to contacts in their address book
- Looking up phone numbers for restaurants or other points of interest
- Setting a reminder or alarm
- Asking about the weather
- Select and play music
- Audibly send and receive text messages
- Getting directions through Apple Maps
For a demonstration of new Siri Eyes-Free capability for MyFord Touch, click here.
“SYNC, Ford’s entertainment and communications system, was designed to be flexible and updatable, just like other mobile technologies, so our customers are able to get the most out of their smartphones while behind the wheel,” said Sherif Marakby, director, Ford Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering. “Siri Eyes-Free is another great voice-activated feature that not only adds convenience but helps our customers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”
The new software update is available for vehicles equipped with the second generation of SYNC, known as MyFord Touch in North America, ranging from model years 2011 to 2016.
The downloadable update will be available through http://owner.ford.com/.