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Ford Brings Siri Eyes Free Support to 5 Million Vehicles Dating Back to 2011

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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While many carmakers are starting to roll out support for Apple's CarPlay in-vehicle functionality, an older Siri Eyes Free feature is also designed to help minimize driver distraction by using Siri voice recognition and spoken responses to allow drivers to interact with an iPhone without needing to look at the screen.

Siri Eyes Free is generally activated through a hardware button on the vehicle's steering wheel and is available in a number of makes and models, and Ford today is officially announcing the launch of Eyes Free support for over five million vehicles dating back to the 2011 model year via a software update to Ford's second-generation SYNC infotainment system.

"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."
Eyes Free support actually went live two months ago with the launch of version 3.8 of the second-generation SYNC software, but Ford has apparently waited until now to make the rollout official as it has worked to apply the update to new cars coming from the factory and make it available to owners of existing vehicles.

Apple also lists Ford as one of its CarPlay partners, but the automaker has yet to announce specific plans for supporting it in upcoming vehicles. The most recent information from Ford indicates CarPlay support will be arriving "relatively soon."

Article Link: Ford Brings Siri Eyes Free Support to 5 Million Vehicles Dating Back to 2011
 

gijoeinla

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2011
684
489
Los Angeles, CA
I'm actually surprised :). I can confirm that for me they seemed to be able to force this update to your car. At least that's how my ford got its update.

I now get all my iPhone text messages through the Sync system. Some or all of the text related features are motion restricted. Meaning you can't always read them but sometimes your offered a listen option.

You must enable text messaging on the "phone" screen for this "text" feature to work.

If this promo is true in that Siri now speaks thru Sync itself is a pretty significant upgrade to a horrible interface :))). Two thumbs up for Ford...
 

Chaos215bar2

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2004
144
139
Wow. Ford was pretty far from the top of my list in terms of cars to look at. This is the kind of thing that will make me take a much closer look next time around and a really refreshing alternative to various manufacturers' attempts at connected systems. Maybe some other companies will learn a thing or two.

My current car, for instance, is great, but I wouldn't touch the current iteration due to the rather pathetic "connected platform" included in all models. I just hope they scrap the attempt and move to CarPlay sooner rather than later.
 
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lionsy

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2010
289
241
England, UK
If your car has bluetooth built in to it like mine, it's worth trying to hold down the call button on your steering wheel (or wherever it is!), that activates Siri for me. When I used a motorola hands free kit (a speaker that clipped to the sun visor and connected via bluetooth) holding down the call button activated Siri too.
 

Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,296
2,006
Australia, Perth
I still dunno....

This whole thing of "keeping your eyes on the road" vs Siri-eyes Free so u can just press a button on the steering wheel, to help with trying to know where u are going instead of being detracted.. lets face it, it's still detraction ..

Doesn't matter how much or how little... then again we all use hands free anyway in company cars today, and that's seems to be ok..

Times were allot simpler when u just got in the car and it went,,, no tech to worry about.. Now days we must decide how much and how little we can use it when car markers try and "avoid" the police at the same time by making it "less detracting"

U have to still think .... That's always gonna be a detraction, and no one can say its not.
 

joueboy

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2008
1,576
1,545
Let the driving data gathering begin. In this situation I think Apple is like becoming Google. I assume they will start harvesting our driving data. With that information it's very critical for the development of iCar. It's happening they just need more information and the only way to get them is through CarPlay and of course Siri.
 

Robert.Walter

macrumors 68000
Jul 10, 2012
1,591
1,725
And then there is Honda.

Successfully field tested CarPlay on production hardware in customer vehicles over a year ago. The install was made via a USB stick sent to customers.

Meanwhile the CarPlay advertising shows s Honda head unit and for the last year Honda dealers encouraged customers not to wait but to buy and later install CarPlay with a firmware update.

The customers that bought this b.s. were later screwed when Honda announced they (care about current customer satisfaction and more about selling new cars) are not going to backward support vehicles in the field that have the display audio head unit on which CarPlay was successfully tested.

I'm so hoping for a class action lawsuit.
 

MoggerhangerMark

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2015
2
0
No mention of this on Ford's UK site.

I am UK resident and drive latest Ford Focus TitianumX with Sync2 and I'm really pleased with Sync2!
However up to now it's not clear from Ford's UK website but seems Sync1+2 needs to be upgraded by Ford main dealers up to now - which is pretty poor.
Sync3 isn't out yet in UK, it's coming soon.
I also hope Ford UK explain if this will or will not work in UK and how their UK customers can upgrade.
If anyone knows please share - thanks.
 

MoggerhangerMark

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2015
2
0
I think that's because Sync version 2 is only in America, in the UK we have only had version 1 and as I understand you can't apply a software update to change it to version 2.

Incorrect. Sync2 is in UK. But it's totally different hardware platform to Sync1. Sync2 is in my UK car and it's very good. You're right about s/w updates in UK being at the least difficult via a dealer. I have read on some car forums of Sync1 being updated with a map update for around £60 at dealers, seems it's often on offer at this price or they probably will do it for £60 if you mention the offers.
 

gstevie

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2009
361
80
Glasgow
No mention of this on Ford's UK site.

Well strangely for just over a week now my iPhone has been displaying text messages on my UK 2015 Ford Fiesta. Before now it never displayed them and if I tried to activate the feature in the settings it would say that my device was not compatible. I have not tried eyes free Siri, will try it when I am back home.

I never took my car for an update - one day it just started working. I was putting it down to an iOS update, now I am thinking there must have been some OTA update to Sync - is that possible?
 

McGiord

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2003
4,548
288
Dark Castle
I still dunno....

This whole thing of "keeping your eyes on the road" vs Siri-eyes Free so u can just press a button on the steering wheel, to help with trying to know where u are going instead of being detracted.. lets face it, it's still detraction ..

Doesn't matter how much or how little... then again we all use hands free anyway in company cars today, and that's seems to be ok..

Times were allot simpler when u just got in the car and it went,,, no tech to worry about.. Now days we must decide how much and how little we can use it when car markers try and "avoid" the police at the same time by making it "less detracting"

U have to still think .... That's always gonna be a detraction, and no one can say its not.
The distraction is minimized when other systems are also in place like driver assurance for collision avoidance, lane departure, assured braking, traffic assist up to autonomous driving (which would be the goldmine in the following decades).
A Head Up Display helps to keep your eyes on the road while also looking over important information necessary to keep your ride safe and less distracting.
Kudos to Ford for executing a basic customer service nowadays mispracticed by many companies with the aim to boost quarterly numbers while pissing off loyal customers.
 

McGiord

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2003
4,548
288
Dark Castle
Let the driving data gathering begin. In this situation I think Apple is like becoming Google. I assume they will start harvesting our driving data. With that information it's very critical for the development of iCar. It's happening they just need more information and the only way to get them is through CarPlay and of course Siri.
Not denying your observation, but I think they already know when you are riding or driving a car. Apple isn't selling the data, and it isn't their main source of revenue like Google is. I had high appreciation for Nest product until Google bought them. My latest Sony TV unfortunately runs Android OS and it's very intrusive, there is no other way to use it if you don't accept their I own you privacy policy.
 
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audunhaugland

macrumors newbie
Aug 12, 2013
7
12
Norway
I miss a "Siri-button" in my 2015 Peugeot 5008. I thought it would "just work" over Bluetooth.

I had a simple nokia speaker in my old car. There I could just hold down one button and Siri would be activated.
 

afd

macrumors 65816
Apr 12, 2005
1,041
246
Scotland
Well strangely for just over a week now my iPhone has been displaying text messages on my UK 2015 Ford Fiesta. Before now it never displayed them and if I tried to activate the feature in the settings it would say that my device was not compatible. I have not tried eyes free Siri, will try it when I am back home.

I never took my car for an update - one day it just started working. I was putting it down to an iOS update, now I am thinking there must have been some OTA update to Sync - is that possible?
This has been happening with my wife's fiestas since she got an iPhone 5. Text messages would appear on the display then stop appearing, then start appearing. I wasn't sure if it was iOS updates or whether the SYNC thing updated via tethering through phone.
 
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