Ford looks to friend Facebook

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?

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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.

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Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

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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Talkback

10 comments
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  • No I can't think of any reason why I'd want to

    look at Facebook while I am driving. The only good reason for Ford to want it is simple: marketing. It will sell more cars.
    Michael Kelly
  • Like drivers aren't distracted enough already

    Of course, if I were a personal injury attorney I'd love this. "So, at the time of the accident, your Facebook timeline shows..." Cha-Ching!!!

    Oh, and it would be great for local thieves to know exactly where you are.
    ancientprogrammer
  • Ford and Face Book

    This is an interesting concept. If only they could access the phone listing for your face book contacts then I guess sync could be handy. Or i suppose if sync could give you turn by turn directions to a Facebook friends house that might be good. But then it could also have very bad results if a privacy breach were to happen.
    HotelRoomKing
  • Do People's lives revolve around Facebook that much?

    That they need to have it constantly while driving. It is too much to update your status when you are NOT driving. I understand hands free, voice command technology, streaming music, GPS and other technologies found in cars today but if you need Facebook to follow you around in your car then you need a life IMO.
    bobiroc
    • I admit I'm on FB quite a bit

      but the last thing I want to deal with when I'm driving is my FB... or any other distraction in my vehicle while I'm driving.
      athynz
      • RE: I admit I'm on FB quite a bit

        Me too. I use it to keep up with my friends and family many of which live out of state and I do not get to see very often. I like some of the FB integration into other services but non of this is necessary while I am driving. Today's driver has too many distractions already and they do not need another. There is such a thing as taking a good thing too far and this may be one of those times.
        bobiroc
  • Any multi-function display in a car is a major distraction.

    Even with Sync! And Ford is the worst offender when it comes to loading up cars with electronic distrations!
    Userama
  • One more reson not to buy a Ford

    First they aligned with Microsoft, then this? Why does Microsoft need to follow you, wherever you go? When I'm in y car, I will let those that are important enough, know. Microsoft has no need to know where I am
    Jumpin Jack Flash
    • Microsoft does not care where you are

      The SYNC system is developed by Microsoft and used by Ford and if you think their only goal is to track you then you need an ego check. You are not that important. Don't look now but your hate is showing.
      bobiroc
      • You're not think of the big picture.

        Microsift's end goal is to monitor your every move. How can Microsoft charge you fro every waking moment, unless they ca moniyor your every move?
        Jumpin Jack Flash