Ford has had a monopoly on technology like Sync for several years in North America. However, this is set to change next week with the introduction of Kia’s Sync competitor, UVO.
Like Ford’s Sync, Kia’s UVO is based on Microsoft’s auto software platform as Ford’s exclusive agreement with Microsoft expired in 2008. Although the two systems are based on the same platform, Microsoft and Kia spokespeople say the Kia system will have several unique features missing from Sync.
As of now, Sync provides users with the ability to make a call, change songs on their iPod, get directions, hear real-time traffic information, and more without having to take their hands off the wheel. Ford has been improving Sync since its debut in 2007, but similar features should appear on Kia’s UVO.
Sync has proven an extremely popular technology for Ford as the company now sells twice as many vehicles with Sync as it does without. Fiat also offers a popular feature, called Blue&Me, based on Microsoft’s auto platform in Europe.
Kia will unveil UVO next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. UVO will first appear in an unnamed Kia vehicle sometime in 2010.
Source: Automotive News