Ford and General Motors' OnStar unit will let drivers e-mail directions from Google Maps using their mobile phones to certain motor vehicles. Ford calls it a Send to Sync feature, which is available for its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles modeled 2010 or later. Drivers using the new OnStar eNav turn-by-turn navigation feature will search for directions on Google Maps, click the GPS option in the Send menu located in the upper right-hand corner of the map and send the directions to their GM cars.
Ford and General Motors' OnStar unit said June 8 drivers will be able to
e-mail directions from Google Maps using their mobile phones to certain motor
Ford's Sync Traffic, Directions
and Information app, a
program that lets drivers access voice-activated services through their mobile
phones to communicate with their vehicles, is letting users access Google Maps.
The new Send to Sync feature lets drivers send destinations using Google
Maps from their desktops, laptops or smartphones to their 2010 model and later
Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicles.
The idea is to cut out the classic practice of searching for directions on
Web services such as Google Maps and printing them out.
Instead, drivers will transmit directions via the cloud to their Ford
vehicle's Sync application when the Send to Sync capability launches later this
month. Ford said it is offering the same feature for MapQuest, which will
launch later this year.
Ford said the app uses a customer's mobile phone voice plan and the
vehicle's integrated GPS receiver to shuttle
driving directions or business searches, as well as horoscopes, news, movie
listings and stock quotes.
When drivers visit Google Maps on the Web from their computers and
smartphones, they will be able to send directions to their Ford, Lincoln
or Mercury vehicle via the GPS option in the
Send menu located in the upper right-and corner of the map.
Drivers will connect to Sync TDI, for car
owners who have registered for TDI access here, using the Services voice
command. When prompted, drivers can confirm the request to download the Google
Maps direction to the vehicle.
"Printing paper directions from a Website is a relic in our digital
age," Doug VanDagens, director of Ford Connected Services Solutions
Organization, said in a statement.
"With Send to Sync, you can map a destination at home, at work-wherever
you have connectivity-and when you get to your car, it already knows where you
want to go. It's convenient, and it eliminates the waste and distraction of
paper maps, conserving resources while helping drivers keep their eyes on the
Ford is not the only company doing such directional information exchange
over the cloud.
General Motors, which is adding features for its Chevrolet Volt application that help
users track their vehicles using Google Maps, said its OnStar roadside
assistance service will now let users search for and send Google Maps
directions to the navigation service in their vehicles.
Just as with the Ford Sync app, drivers using the new OnStar eNav
turn-by-turn navigation feature will search for directions on Google Maps,
click the GPS option in the Send menu
located in the upper right-hand corner of the map and send the directions to
their GM cars.
The new OnStar feature will become available through Google Maps at the end of June.
The app will work on all current turn-by-turn capable GM vehicles from the 2006
model year on and will integrate with the OnStar Destination Download to send
destinations directly to the vehicle's navigation system.
Google applauded adoption of Google Maps by GM and Ford, as a spokesperson
The new support for Google Maps means the app will gain more traction among
the millions of drivers of Ford and GM cars and trucks.
That's valuable action at a time when the search engine is seeking to not
only maintain its massive Web services user base, but grow it in the face of
Internet rivals Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook.