The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning officially started regular production this week, and the first trucks are scheduled to reach their owners soon. However, many buyers and reservation holders will have no choice but to wait for subsequent iterations of the truck due to The Blue Oval’s protracted ramp up to 150,000 units, a targeted goal that is expected to be achieved next year. As Ford Authority previously explained, the automaker decided to partner with Google for its future automotive infotainment system needs. Now, according to The Verge, the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning will be one of the first vehicles in The Blue Oval’s stable to receive the new tech.
News about the apparent Sync 4 successor came courtesy of Ford CEO Jim Farley himself, as the tech outlet interviewed him about the Lightning. “We’re making a lot of progress. I’m very impressed with the team that Google has put in place,” said Farley, when talking about the team developing the new infotainment system. “They’ve been very accommodating – you can imagine that we don’t want a generic solution for the instrument panel for the Mustang. We want, like, line-lock to do a burnout. But it is slightly delayed, so that’ll be later in the fall.”
At this point, it is unclear exactly how different the new Android-based system will be from the current tech offered by Sync 4, or how the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning will incorporate it. As Ford Authority reported back in 2021, the Google system will reportedly features a robust lineup of third-party apps, in addition to having better integration with Google Maps and other services offered by the tech behemoth. This future infotainment marks the third time that the Sync lineup has switched developers. Microsoft helped develop the first and second iterations of Sync, including MyFordTouch, while QNX took over for Sync 3 and Sync 4.
As it currently stands, the 12-inch Sync 4 infotainment system is paired with Lightning Pro and XLT, while a larger 15.5-inch portrait-oriented Sync 4A system is standard on Lariat and Platinum. While it is unclear how the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning will incorporate the new system, Ford has typically been flexible about keeping legacy technology in place even when successor units have sprung up in other vehicles. To that end, models like the 2022 Ford Escape and 2022 Ford Explorer still utilize Sync 3, while some Ford vehicles – most notably the entire Ford F-150 lineup – now boasts Sync 4 as standard equipment. Additionally, the ongoing chip shortage may upend any large scale transition away from the older Sync units to the newer stuff, although refreshed or redesigned vehicles will likely switch over when the time comes.