Photo courtesy of Ford.

Photo courtesy of Ford.

VIDEO: Ford's Sync 3 Infotainment System

Ford is rolling out a new communications and entertainment system for the 2016 model year called Sync 3 that replaces MyFord Touch as Ford launches the third generation of its connected-car system.

More than 22,000 customer comments drove the refresh, according to Ford. With the move, Ford has departed its relationship with Microsoft, which had provides the software underpinning earlier Sync incarnations. Sync 3 runs on new, BlackBerry QNX-based software.

"Sync 3 is another step forward in delivering connectivity features customers most want, and they tell us this kind of technology is an important part of their decision to buy our vehicles," said Raj Nair, Ford's chief technical officer and group vice president of global product development.

Sync 3 offers several improvements, including adding a capacitive touch screen allowing users to use swipe gestures and pinch-to-zoom on maps. Ford has improved the 911 Assist system, allowing Sync 3 to tell emergency responders which seat belts were used during an accident.

The system will more easily accept updates, because Sync 3 includes a built-in Wi-Fi receiver.

Sync 3 more closely mirrors the experience of using a smartphone, according to Ford, especially with the use of voice search that is now more conversational. The system supports Siri Eyes-Free and improves integration with AppLink, which allows users to control smartphone apps.