Aaron Widmar
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Ford Determined to Advance SYNC Technology by Engaging App Developers

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Ford SYNC Cloud Computing Group Developer 

Since making headlines in 2007 with the introduction of SYNC technology, Ford has stood at the forefront of in-vehicle communication and entertainment integration. By equipping connected cars with internet access, a new realm of interconnected automation and networking has been unlocked.

Discover: Important Ford SYNC Apps

In spite of such groundbreaking advancement, the majority of existing car buyers remain unfamiliar with connected cars. According to a recent Harris Poll AutoTECHCAST study, 44 percent of car shoppers have never heard of a connected car. Furthermore, 42 percent of those who have report they do not actually know what a connected car does. Ultimately, the survey concludes only 15 percent of respondents show serious interest in owning a connected vehicle. Ouch.

Having seen these daunting numbers, I must confess that I am one of many in the unacquainted majority. Until today, I had not known what a connected car exactly is, and I certainly do not engage in that level of symbiosis with my vehicle. The only talking I currently do with my 1995 Saturn SC-2 is coaxing it to shift gears. Ford’s intent to “redefine” my relationship with my car is, in the mind of a consumer such as myself, an intimidating change.

Thus, if Ford is to remain the pioneer of connected technology, while successfully selling this concept to prospective customers, the company must continually cultivate both new technology and publicity.

Now, in a smart move by the manufacturer to raise public awareness, the innovative minds of this generation are being engaged to develop new technology. Ford is inviting pioneering app developers from around the globe to Las Vegas, Nevada for a competition coinciding with the 2014 Connected Car Expo. The conference, running from September 8th to 11th, is intended to generate, “innovative apps that enhance or redefine the automobile’s role in an overall connected life.”

With a direct challenge to both serious and casual developers to show off your chops,”  and the incentive of presenting the winning app alongside Ford at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, the Connected Car-Connected City App Pursuit contest is bound to be a success.

With any luck, what happens in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas. Ford is the first automaker to host an app developer conference, and for the sake of the automobile’s place in the future of IoT interconnection, public engagement should not end there.

Admittedly, I remain wary about the future of digital integration, but that’s because I foresee the day my car has more Facebook friends than I do.

Connect yourself to a connected car