Ford looks to friend Facebook

Summary:Ford is working to figure out how to integrate Facebook into Ford Sync. Can you think of scenarios where having access to your Facebook account would be useful while you're driving around?

Ford is looking to team up with Facebook. More specifically, the automaker is looking to see how it can add some of the social network's capabilities to Ford Sync, which is currently installed in more than 4 million vehicles. For the uninitiated, Ford Sync is the company's in-vehicle communications and entertainment system that lets you make hands-free telephone calls, control music, and get directions using voice commands.

"Imagine if Ford Sync could leverage all of the information from you and your friends put on your Facebook timelines to make your drive more personalized," a Ford spokesperson said in a statement. "Instead of just asking for a nearby restaurant list from your navigation system, the restaurants presented could actually be ones that have been 'liked' by your friends. Or you could ask if your friends are nearby and request navigation to their location. How about listening to the same stream of music that your friends are 'DJ'ing' from the comfort of their own home?"

As you can see in the video above, those are just a few of the concepts attempted during a recent 24-hour Ford/Facebook hackathon held at Facebook’s Palo Alto campus. The duo's employees explored what's possible for integrating one's Facebook social life into the car. Teams of hackers from Ford and Facebook worked through the night to prototype some ideas that were demonstrated to the entire group at the end of the event. The best of those ideas are now being further developed in Ford's Dearborn labs, although the automobile giant of course won't say which ones.

Yesterday at the first Facebook Marketing Conference (fMC) in New York, Ford held a break-out session to discuss what it means to socialize the car in a meaningful and relevant way for drivers. We're not just talking about status updates or wall posts or photos, but how to "seamlessly extend a person's connected and social life into the car to create a more personalized driving experience."

Personally, I just want to be able to tell my car I'm going to a Facebook Event and have the GPS system understand where that is. Throw in being able to call anyone I want attending said event and we're golden. Ford gives a different example: "If you're on your way to an appointment and running late, Sync could automatically notify your friends with an estimated time of arrival. Then, upon arrival, Sync would automatically 'check-in' to your location."

Ford's Facebook Page has 1.3 million Likes. Ford isn't the only transportation company looking to friend Facebook, as you can see in the links below.

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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