Journey 2.0" project will have support from 25 to 30 UM students
who enroll in a winter 2010 course designed to develop apps for
SYNC has proven
extremely popular among car owners, as SYNC-enabled vehicles sell
twice as fast as Fords that don't have the technology.
system currently offers drivers MP3 support, data-over-voice,
GPS, and text-to-speech features. UM-created apps could range
from driver habit observations to social networking apps.
of students in the UM class will be given the opportunity to develop
the apps they're interested in -- and they'll be judged by UM
professors and Ford officials. The most popular app will then
be used in a new Ford Fiesta model, UM and Ford said.
partnership is a win-win for both Ford and UM: Ford receives
innovative support from future software developers, while the UM
students get real-world knowledge -- and the ability to have their
apps utilized in future SYNC vehicles.
to hand them this platform and say, 'build us something really
impressive,'" UM associate professor Brian Noble said in an
interview with Crain's Detroit. "This project has a high
reality quotient, we're connecting our students to a real
industrial problem and that's exciting."
Microsoft-powered SYNC system has gained popularity since its launch,
as car owners look to use a single in-car entertainment and
navigation system while driving.