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Popular Mechanics "Breakthrough Award" to Ford SYNC


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NEW YORK, Oct. 11 – Ford SYNC was honored with a Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award at a ceremony Wednesday at the Hearst Tower in New York City. The Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards, now in their third year, were created to recognize products that set new benchmarks in design, creativity, and engineering as well as individuals and teams that are helping to improve lives and expand possibilities in the realms of science, technology and exploration.

“Popular Mechanics is, at its core, devoted to recognizing innovations that re-imagine the role that technology and science play in our lives,” said James Meigs, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Mechanics. “All of this year’s group of Breakthrough Product Award winners do just that – and demonstrate the wide range of industries that can be transformed through smart, creative engineering.”

In selecting the candidates and winners of the 2007 Breakthrough Awards program, the editors of Popular Mechanics canvassed a large range of experts and academics to come up with a list of worthy nominees. PM’s Board of Advisors then reviewed the nominations to help the editors of Popular Mechanics choose the final winners.

Jim Buczkowski, director of Electrical Systems Engineering at Ford, received the award on behalf of the SYNC team and thanked the editorial staff of Popular Mechanics for recognizing SYNC as “a game-changing technology that will make in-car connectivity more affordable and more widely available than ever before.”

Ford SYNC, developed on the Microsoft Auto software platform, is being launched this fall in 12 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. It is an advanced software platform that provides consumers the convenience and flexibility to bring digital media players – Apple iPods, Microsoft Zunes, and other MP3 players – and Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones into their vehicles and operate the devices via voice commands or with the steering wheel’s redundant radio controls. Simply put, with SYNC, consumers are able to use their voice to command their digital media players and Bluetooth mobile phones.

“The system is as flexible as a Romanian gymnast,” noted senior editor Chuck Tannert, writing about the new system in the October 2007 issue of Popular Mechanics. “Since its functionality is software based, adding capability simply entails downloading a file. Voice command is another sweet spot—the best we’ve tried.”

In summary, Tannert added, “It's affordable, upgradeable and comes in a wide variety of rides. Well done, Ford.”

SYNC will be standard on Lincoln vehicles and widely available on Ford and Mercury vehicles. In most cases, SYNC will be included as standard equipment on high-series models from Ford and Mercury – the Ford Edge Limited or Ford Focus SES, for example. On models where SYNC is optional, it will be priced at $395.

A complete report of the Breakthrough Awards and a full list of winners are available in the November 2007 issue of Popular Mechanics (on newsstands October 16, 2007) and online at www.popularmechanics.com.

About Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics (www.popularmechanics.com) is a magazine that helps readers master the modern world. In addition to providing hands-on coverage of personal technology, cars and home improvement, PM reports in depth on the science and technology behind major issues -- including such stories as disaster planning, hydrogen fuel and other energy alternatives, military expenditures, and digital privacy. Each month, nearly 9 million readers turn for advice and news to the magazine’s editors and contributors, including the likes of Jay Leno, astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Tom Jones, and roboticist Daniel H. Wilson. In addition to its U.S. flagship, Popular Mechanics publishes 12 editions around the world. Popular Mechanics is published by Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) and one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly magazines, with nearly 200 editions around the world, including 19 U.S. titles and 20 magazines in the United Kingdom, published through its wholly owned subsidiary, The National Magazine Company Limited. Hearst reaches more adults than any other publisher of monthly magazines (74.1 million total adults, according to MRI, spring 07).

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 260,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.