Crowdsourced navigation from Waze is coming to 2018 Ford cars

Waze maps and navigation are coming to 2018 Ford cars sporting the Sync 3 infotainment system, allowing drivers to tap into crowdsourced mapping data.

At the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 in Las Vegas, both companies announced a partnership that will see Waze slotted into Sync 3 through connecting smartphones to the infotainment system through Ford’s AppLink tech and a USB connection.

Related: CES 2018 highlights

This will allow for the infotainment system to serve up navigation services, with which drivers can easily interact on a larger touchscreen – rather than squinting at map directions on a smartphone display, or illegally using it when driving.

Unlike other GPS navigation, Waze taps into crowdsourced data which the company says allows for more up-to-date information on driving conditions and optimal routes to a destination. Waze reckons this type of mapping and data sharing will help speed up commutes, thus reducing fuel consumption.

“Our goal is to bring a human-centered approach to technology in the vehicle, making it as easy as possible for people to integrate the tools that matter most to them,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director at its Connected Vehicle and Services division.

“With the flexibility of our Sync 3 software and AppLink, customers can easily use Waze to get all the traffic and navigation help they need – on a big screen, and without having to fiddle around with their phones while driving.”

Waze had been available in Ford cars that support Android Auto, but direct integration with Sync 3 means iPhones can also pipe Waze to the infotainment unit without having to rely on Apple’s CarPlay interface. Although more widespread than a few years ago, CarPlay can’t yet be found across all the major car brands.

The Waze integration into Sync 3 is pretty much the opposite of the high-end car tech and machines being showcased at CES 2018. Nevertheless, it shows that driver-orientated connected car tech is growing, despite driverless cars supposedly being just round the corner.

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