Ford launches SYNC Destinations, as the market for automotive MEMS sensors expands

Ford launches SYNC Destinations, as the market for automotive MEMS sensors expands

Ford launched SYNC Destinations, a free app that gives Ford drivers mobile access to a host of navigation and traffic information. Drivers can program 25 destinations—called “Saved Points”—into their handsets and access directions, real-time traffic information, maps, and reliable traffic forecasts relating to those points. A lockout feature automatically halts the app from running on a smartphone once it is detected to be traveling in excess of five miles per hour, helping drivers stay focused on the task of driving.

“With SYNC Destinations, you can be standing in line for a coffee, making impromptu plans with a friend, or sitting at the ballgame, and conveniently add a new address to your Saved Points—without ever stopping to log into your account at a personal computer,” says Dave Gersabeck, SYNC TDI product manager. Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury owners of 2010 and 2011 SYNC-equipped, TDI-capable vehicles can download the SYNC Destinations app for free from the Apple App Store and Android Market. Ford will feature demos of SYNC Destinations at the 2011 International CES consumer technology trade show in Las Vegas.

Sistema unveils “iPhone killer”

Sistema began production of The GLONASS GPS phone, the world’s first phone equipped with a dual GLONASS and GPS chip. GLONASS is Russia’s newly launched competitor to America’s GPS. Sistema’s phone will use both satellite systems for positioning and mobile navigation. The phone will run on the Android 2.1 operating system and is outfitted with a 3.2-inch, 320 x 240 resolution screen. Sistema has billed the phone as the “iPhone killer” and plans to manufacture 500,000 devices in its first year. The phone goes on sale March 1, 2011, in Russia.

TomTom and Sierra Wireless

TomTom announced plans to use Sierra Wireless to provide cellular connectivity to its integrated navigation systems for Renault and Mazda. The Carminat TomTom LIVE is Renault’s latest connected built-in navigation system. With cellular connectivity provided by Sierra Wireless’ AirPrime Intelligent Embedded Modules, the system will enable drivers to access real-time information, like local search for nearby services, mobile safety camera reporting and sharing, and weather information. TomTom’s connected in-car navigation technology will also be offered by Mazda as an option on its new Mazda5 in Europe.

Garmin and GEOTAB

GEOTAB released version 3 of its GO4 vehicle tracking hardware device. The device can be integrated with select Garmin Nuvi PNDs, allowing for two-way driver and dispatcher communication. To ensure that drivers are not distracted when using the Garmin device, a sound notification is played with a new message icon on the Garmin screen, which notifies drivers that new text messages have been received. The driver must safely come to a stop before reading the message or responding to a dispatch request. Garmin’s dispatch messaging interface and GEOTAB’s fleet management software enables direct-to-driver communication via text messaging, as well as instant re-routing with ‘new destination’ message prompts.


NAVTEQ announced it will extend its relationship with advanced planning and fleet optimization specialist ORTEC. The companies will continue to work side-by-side on products like NAVTEQ Traffic Patterns and NAVTEQ Transport. NAVTEQ Traffic Patterns is a comprehensive database of information that empowers drivers to decide when and how to avoid congested areas. NAVTEQ Transport, meanwhile, provides the transportation and logistics industries with accurate truck-specific attributes and content for applications like routing, fleet optimization, and navigation. The new contract between the two companies will run until 2013.

MEMS to hit record high

Driven by the rapid recovery in automotive production and inventory rebuilding among sensor component suppliers, the market for automotive microelectromechanical system (MEMS) sensors will expand to record size in 2010, according to market research firm iSuppli. Marking a new high point for the industry, shipments of automotive MEMS sensors will reach 662.3 million units in 2010, up a robust 32.1 percent from 501.2 million units in 2009. The projected year-end levels—including the replenishment of inventory that was depleted during the recession of 2009—will exceed even the pre-crisis high point in 2007 of 640 million sensors, iSuppli research shows. “One significant engine of automotive MEMS growth is the use of sensors in passenger cars supporting mandated safety technologies, such as electronic stability control and tire pressure monitoring systems,” says Richard Dixon, senior analyst for MEMS and sensors at iSuppli.

Total Traffic Network into Mexico

Clear Channel’s Total Traffic Network, North America’s largest provider of real-time traffic data, announced a new traffic information solution for Mexico City’s local service providers. The solution aims to help motorists in Mexico City better navigate the heavily traveled local road system. Total Traffic Network has partnered with Grupo Acir Radio to make traffic incidents and flow data available to support an array of RDS-TMC enabled devices. A mobile application is also in the works. “Marrying Grupo Acir’s on-the-ground traffic monitoring resources with TTN’s expertise in data sourcing, organization, preparation, and delivery has
enabled a powerful new solution that can help motorists solve the puzzle of
Mexico City traffic,” says Antonio Ibarra, executive vice president of Grupo Acir Radio.

Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to TU.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *