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From BlueCruise to SYNC 4: A Closer Look at Ford’s Tech-Savvy Features

It’s hard to imagine that it was only a few years ago that we navigated the road with paper maps while shuffling through a binder of our favorite CDs to find the perfect soundtrack to match our mood. Smartphones, Bluetooth, and ongoing tech advancements in the automotive industry have transformed our experience behind the wheel, leading us to retire our outdated maps and CD collection in exchange for satellite navigation and apps that can stream our favorites without missing a beat. Moreover, that technology isn’t merely for entertainment but also does wonders to keep us connected, informed, and aware in the driver’s seat.

You can experience some of the best and most advanced automotive tech features at any Ford dealer across the country. Ford is renowned for its pioneering spirit in the realm of technology, adopting new features that heighten the user experience. But what does that technology look like today? From the highly praised SYNC 4 and SYNC 4A infotainment systems to every safety and driver-assist feature imaginable, here’s a closer look at Ford’s tech-savvy features.

Meet SYNC 4 and SYNC 4A

The modern SYNC 4 and SYNC 4A systems are the culmination of over a decade of development that started with the original SYNC system that debuted in 2007. SYNC introduced us to Bluetooth compatibility, voice recognition, and touchscreen controls. Those capabilities have only improved over the years, with Ford updating the system to SYNC 3 in 2013 and again to SYNC 4 and SYNC 4A in 2019. So, what can you expect from the latest SYNC suite?

Seamless Over-the-Air Updates

Adding new software features to your vehicle once meant taking it back to the dealer for routine software updates. However, that’s changed with over-the-air updates in the SYNC 4 and SYNC 4A systems. If your Ford is connected to WiFi, the Ford Power-Up feature automatically looks for the latest software, updating as needed. This ensures your Ford operates with the newest software, providing functionality enhancements, navigational updates, and more.

Responsive Navigation

As someone that owns a Ford, the SYNC system is remarkable when navigating new or unfamiliar areas. Since SYNC 4 offers over-the-air updates, its onboard maps are frequently revised to include new roads. In addition, new models offer three levels of navigation: Connected Built-In, Connected Navigation, and smartphone navigation. You get to choose the level of support you want.

Connected Built-In Navigation provides directions even without cell service, making it ideal for those who venture off the beaten path. It can be enhanced with subscription-based Connected Navigation services, like live traffic updates with Tom Tom and weather updates via AccuWeather. Finally, smartphone-based navigation relies solely on your Apple or Android device, making it an affordable and familiar option.

Effortless Connectivity

The most obvious benefit of the SYNC 4 system is its connectivity and entertainment features. With screen options as large as 15.5 inches, the SYNC 4 and SYNC 4A infotainment displays are among the largest in the industry. More importantly, they’re intuitive and easy to use, seamlessly syncing with your smartphone via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the SYNC AppLink feature. Ford adds to this connectivity by equipping the system with Enhanced Voice Recognition, eliminating the need to raise your voice for your Ford to hear or understand you. Instead, it’s conversation-based, meaning you can easily say, “Call home,” and SYNC 4 will respond.

Meet Ford Co-Pilot360

The SYNC 4 and SYNC 4A infotainment systems enhance your experience in the driver’s seat by offering up-to-date navigation, seamless connectivity, and enhanced voice recognition that ensures your focus stays on the road. However, there’s more to your driving experience than staying connected, and Ford knows it. America’s leading automotive pioneer answers the need for a comprehensive suite of technology that stretches beyond connectivity to include critical safety and driver-assist tools to optimize your focus and situational awareness, yielding more confidence behind the wheel.


One of the most exciting aspects of owning a new Ford is reaping the benefits of advanced features like BlueCruise. As one of the industry’s first hands-free driver-assist tools, BlueCruise changes how you drive at highway speeds. It works with Ford’s Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Speed Sign Recognition, and Lane Centering to let you take your hands off the wheel on over 130,000 miles of compatible roadways (known as Hands-Free Blue Zones) across North America. All you have to do is keep your eyes on the road and enjoy the ride.

BLIS with Cross-Traffic Alert

Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross-Traffic Alert equips your Ford with a virtual spotter that constantly monitors your surroundings. The blind-spot monitoring part of the tool alerts you to vehicles in your blind spots on multi-lane roads, while Cross-Traffic Alert watches behind your Ford when you are in reverse. If traffic is in your intended path or crossing behind you, you’ll know it with audible and visual cues from the system.

Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Evasive Steering Assist

It’s easy to get distracted behind the wheel, from trying to navigate an unfamiliar area to fielding phone calls or responding to the needs of younger passengers. Fortunately, tools like Ford’s Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking improve our situational awareness in the driver’s seat. This technology constantly monitors the road ahead for vehicles and pedestrians, alerting you to potential collisions. If you fail to respond to the alerts, your Ford’s Automatic Emergency Braking system engages, automatically applying the brakes to minimize the impact or prevent a collision altogether.

Ford’s Evasive Steering Assist feature can also help in situations such as when you’re traveling the speed limit and traffic suddenly comes to a stop, or there’s a stalled vehicle in your path. The Pre-Collision Assist feature will alert you to hit the brakes, but Evasive Steering Assist can help you take corrective action. While it doesn’t take over your Ford’s steering, it provides additional support so you can maneuver around the obstacle ahead.

Active Park Assist 2.0

Parking can be an ordeal, whether navigating the lot at the grocery store or maneuvering into a parallel parking space downtown. Fortunately, Ford lessens the learning curve with tools like Active Park Assist 2.0. How does it work? Active Park Assist 2.0 can help you locate a parking spot. Then, you activate the tool by engaging the brakes, shifting into Neutral, and pressing the Active Park Assist button. From there, the technology takes over and parks your Ford for you.

Pro Trailer Backup Assist

The F-150 has been the best-selling truck in America for decades, endlessly praised for its brute strength and ability to live up to the “Built Ford Tough” motto. Advanced tech features like Pro Trailer Backup Assist further add to the F-150’s appeal since the tool makes reversing with a trailer incredibly straightforward. With Pro Trailer Backup Assist, you can simply rotate a knob on the dashboard in the direction you want the trailer to go instead of having to figure out which way to steer to make the trailer go where you want. With this tool, you can navigate your trailer like a seasoned pro in any situation.

Tech-Savvy and Ready for the Road

As drivers, we sometimes don’t know what we’re missing until we experience new features like BlueCruise or Pro Trailer Backup Assist. The other day, I was driving down the highway when my husband asked why I wasn’t using cruise control. My Ford Explorer is still new to me, so I hadn’t tinkered around with its adaptive cruise control feature. I quickly discovered what I was missing once I engaged the tool and let it handle the heavy lifting, automatically adjusting my cruising speed based on traffic.

Any modern Ford model is a tech-savvy driver’s playground and offers an expansive suite of advanced tools that promise to transform our experience behind the wheel. Moreover, these tools complement what we already know and love about the Ford lineup––its reliability, versatility, and capability. I like to think of Ford’s tech as icing on an already delicious cake.