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At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, Ford announced that it is bringing its SYNC and AppLink platforms to Europe. After selling close to 4 million cars with its voice-activated hands-free platform in the U.S., Ford now plans to sell more than 3.5 million SYNC-enabled cars in Europe by 2015. SYNC will speak nine European languages and also...

Cars and the Internet are slowly getting closer, but it's still hard for developers to get their apps into cars without being invited by the automobile industry. Given the security and especially safety concerns involved here, things will likely remain this way for a while, but a new project from Ford aims to accelerate in-car app development. The company...

Here is another nail in the coffin of traditional terrestrial drive-time radio: Ford and NPR just announced the launch of NPR's updated Android and iPhone apps with support for Ford's SYNC AppLink service that connects your phone to your car's built-in infotainment system. With this app, Ford drivers who own compatible vehicles will, for example, be able to get...

Ford today announced a major upgrade to its MyFord Touch user interface that allows drivers to control virtually all aspects of their cars infotainment system with the help of voice commands, a touchscreen and dedicated buttons on the dashboard. The earlier MyFord Touch system, which was available on a number of 2011 and 2012 model year cars, has a...

Earlier this year, at Google I/O, Ford and Google announced a new project that would use Google’s cloud-based tools to make vehicles smarter. Later this week, at the 18th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems, Ford will give its first public demonstrations of the fruits of this work. The idea behind this work is to use Google’s Prediction API to “predict driver behavior in order to optimize vehicle control systems and improve vehicle performance attributes such as fuel or hybrid-electric efficiency.”

 This morning, Ford and Toyota announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding that will allow the two companies to work together on building a new standard for telematics platform for their cars that will enable in-car communications systems and Internet-based services. The two companies plan to sign a formal agreement early next year. Ford, of course, has made a name for itself...

I still remember plugging my portable CD player into a cassette adapter so I could listen to my music in the car. Today, in-car cassette players are a thing of the past, but most cars still come with built-in CD players. According to Ford's global trends and futuring manger Sheryl Connelly, that could soon change, though. While talking to AM Online, Connelly noted that "the in-car CD player – much like pay telephones – is destined to fade away in the face of exciting new technology.”

When cars can talk to the Internet, many interesting things can happen. When they can talk to each other, though, even more possibilities open up.

Our cars are quickly becoming sophisticated computers on wheels and new cars often feature technologies like speech recognition, lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control and blind-zone alerts that would have looked like science fiction not too long ago. Now, however, the latest J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study shows that quite a few of these new technologies end...

Cars are becoming increasingly connected and there can be little doubt that this opens drivers up to all kinds of new distractions. Some new cars can now check your Facebook account and read updates out aloud. Others connect you to your personalized music stations on Pandora or let you browse through your locally stored music collection through one of...

In Ford's vision, a driver would opt into this system and allow Ford to build an anonymous profile based on the data it gathers from a given car's telematics system. Based on this data, the system would then be able to predict where you are going depending on the time of day, for example, and optimize your car's performance settings accordingly. The car could also ask a driver for confirmation as well ("Are you going to work?").

One trend that's very clear at this year's CES is that the Internet is slowly making its way into cars. Of course, you can already browser the net and play music from Pandora through your smartphone, but the next generation of cars - and especially electric cars - are making the Internet an integral part of the car's feature set.

With SYNC, Ford was one of the first car manufacturers to connect its cars to the Internet and brought relatively high-end technologies like voice recognition and in-car WiFi to the mass market. Now, the Michigan-based company is taking this a step further with the introduction of the MyFord Mobile app for the battery-powered plug-in Focus Electric. Ford didn't specify its...