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Drew Dowdell

Ford News: Ford Sync 4 Launches With Over The Air Updates

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Starting in 2020, Ford will be launching Sync 4 in most updated and redesigned vehicles. One of the key features of the new infotainment operating system is the ability to get updates over the air via a cellular network.  The over-the-air update ability makes updating the system as easy as a cell phone.  In Sync 3, the system was able to be updated via a wifi network or USB drive, and that is how Ford rolled out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto when they were finally made available for Sync 3.

Ford says this change could eliminate some trips to the dealership if the computer needs to be reflashed to updated as part of a recall.  The system has the ability to update software in the background and keep the current software running until the new update is ready for activation, making many of the updates completely invisible to the end user.  Customers can schedule updates for a specific time, such as the middle of the night, to further make the process invisible.

Sync 4 is designed to run on 8-inch screens standard, but 12-inch and 15.5-inch screens are available too.  Voice recognition in Sync 4 is activated by saying "Ok Ford".

Ford believes performing some recall work via the OTA updates will improve customer satisfaction and increase business.

Ford has not released which models will get Sync 4 first.


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That sounds like a pretty nice update.

15.5 inch screen?!? Is that currently in anything or it just has the capability of that for future vehicles?

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14 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

That sounds like a pretty nice update.

15.5 inch screen?!? Is that currently in anything or it just has the capability of that for future vehicles?

Navigator maybe? I'd have to go look it up.  The Navigator's screen is huge. 

Edit: Nope, Navigator is 10".  I can't imagine how much bigger the 15.5" one will be. 

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Over the Air is a little sketchy, just ask Tesla owners. Not sure I'd want them in my ECU making updates, hardwired connections are ALWAYS better. I'm involved in the physical security industry so I've seen some real problems arise from wireless data transfers. 

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3 hours ago, USA-1 said:

Over the Air is a little sketchy, just ask Tesla owners. Not sure I'd want them in my ECU making updates, hardwired connections are ALWAYS better. I'm involved in the physical security industry so I've seen some real problems arise from wireless data transfers. 

AMEN to that.  Wireless may be more convenient, but wired is often faster and much more secure.

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56 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

AMEN to that.  Wireless may be more convenient, but wired is often faster and much more secure.

It won't be faster than not having to go to the dealership and schedule an appointment. 

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Just use WIFI at the local Starbucks or your own house if that's what you're worried about.  I've updated a Mustang Convertible using the hotspot on my phone before. 

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13 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Just use WIFI at the local Starbucks or your own house if that's what you're worried about.  I've updated a Mustang Convertible using the hotspot on my phone before. 

For those that do think about security of wifi or Cellular, I wonder if Ford will post the updates so that end users who want to, can download it and do a hard wired or usb drive update? 🤔

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18 hours ago, balthazar said:

Just do it when in for service.

That's assuming you want to take your vehicle to a dealership for service. 

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Reminds me of a movie where via computer over the air they started up all these auto's and launched them off the parking garage to try and kill the person and had them chase the person. Imagine if a Hacker can hack your auto while driving and take control. 😛 

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3 hours ago, dfelt said:

Reminds me of a movie where via computer over the air they started up all these auto's and launched them off the parking garage to try and kill the person and had them chase the person. Imagine if a Hacker can hack your auto while driving and take control. 😛 

There was an episode of Elementary that covered that. 

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