12 Volt: Everything Including the SYNC!
I thought we were more like electricians, not plumbers. Well, SYNCs have been clogging up all of the clout in the 12-volt world. Now its time for the aftermarket to come along and bring additional features and a better experience than the stock Ford unit. Kenwood and ADS through the iDataLink Maestro product line have created a breakthrough so now navigation can be offered on those SE model Ford Focuses (Foci?) or secretary-enabled V6 Mustangs.
All 2012 Kenwood navigation models are compatible with the iDataLink Maestro. The installer just has to T-Harness in the special black box and update firmware to run it with the type of Ford vehicle. Welcome to the future. It’s time to unclog the SYNC!
We spoke with Mark Rutledge, technical director, and Dan Facciolo, director of marketing, for Automotive Data Systems about the new SYNC unclogger. Rutledge noted, “Kenwood and ADS have worked together to implement a two-way communication link between the Maestro module and the Kenwood radio. Using this link, we are able to send information to the radio to be displayed and receive commands from the radio when a button is pressed. The Maestro module connects to the CAN network in the vehicle and controls the Microsoft SYNC system, as well as the OEM Sirius satellite radio tuner (if present). The Kenwood radio has a special ‘OEM Features’ GUI screen where these sources can be selected.”
Kenwood and ADS have a partnership where everyone benefits, including the customer. Rutledge noted, “We targeted Kenwood as a potential partner and managed to arrange a meeting and demonstration of a ‘proof of concept’ at the 2011 CES. We started the project shortly afterwards. Kenwood is great to work with and very supportive. We are thrilled they share our vision about new ways to integrate aftermarket radios into the existing vehicle systems. The Ford Sync application was something that was sorely needed and helps us to reach an entirely new group of customers.”
Keith Lehmann, SVP of Kenwood, noted, “ADS is very informed about the challenges and a great partner. We were really impressed with what they were doing with vehicle security- their knowledge of complex databus systems is top notch. Moreover, there are millions of Ford vehicles on the road with more basic options packages but have SYNC. With the addition of Kenwood’s feature set, we can offer the customer a tremendous experience.”