Garmin will develop cloud-based mapping for the Blue Oval.

Ford is working on the next generation of its SYNC infotainment system (SYNC 4), which will run on the Mustang Mach-E’s massive 15.5-inch central display (and probably display some information on the 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster). The navigation side of things will be taken care of by Garmin, one of the world leaders in satellite navigation technology.

The big news here is that the maps will be cloud-based, but the system will still work in areas with no reception. We don’t know what the exact features are, but since it’s cloud-based, we can speculate that it will have live traffic information and that it will calculate the route for maximum efficiency (and based on the EV's remaining range).

The official press release says one of the nav system's unique features will be EV-specific routing, which we presume has to do with charging station locations and guiding the vehicle to the nearest one when it’s low on electricity. By including an advanced and thoroughly usable nav system, Ford aims to convince Mach-E drivers to not use smartphone-based services, even though the vehicle will come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Gallery: 2020 Ford Mustang Mach-E

In fact, that’s the goal with SYNC 4 as a whole - to encourage drivers not to rely on their smartphones, but on-board infotainment instead (at least for some functions, anyway). It won’t, for instance, go too in-depth with things like bookings or organizing events on your calendar. However, just like your phone (and Tesla vehicles), its connected nature means it will most likely be able to receive over-the-air updates that won’t require a dealer visit.

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OLATHE, Kan., Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced a new strategic relationship with Ford Motor Company that integrates Garmin’s world-renowned navigation technology into the recently announced Ford next-generation SYNC communications and entertainment system.

Later this year, next-generation SYNC users will be able to enjoy access to Garmin’s industry-leading navigation features including cloud-based mapping and routing, electric vehicle (EV) routing, range management details, and the latest connected services to facilitate an optimal driving experience.

“We are delighted to embark on our first collaboration with Ford Motor Company and look forward to expanding our offerings across multiple vehicle platforms in the future,” said Matt Munn, Garmin automotive OEM managing director. “The introduction of Garmin’s innovative navigation features to the SYNC platform in the Mach-E will help ensure that Ford’s all electric customer base stays connected at all times.”

The joint effort between Garmin and Ford helps next-generation SYNC distinguish itself from traditional embedded navigation systems, thanks to connected maps and EV-specific features. The platform also allows drivers to travel with confidence by retaining on-board maps and routing that ensure navigation is available through dead zones.

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