DEARBORN, MI – Ford has released a new update to its SYNC software, which gives users the ability to have text messages read to them aloud. The update includes the emerging Message Access Profile (MAP) Bluetooth standard, which outlines features and procedures for exchanging email, SMS, and MMS information between devices, for example the Ford SYNC system and a user’s smartphone.

The update is designed to allow for more hands-free functionality and to keep drivers focused on the road and not on their smartphone or other type of mobile device. It is compatible with select SYNC Generation 1-equipped 2011 and 2012 vehicles.

“Texting is becoming a ubiquitous part of our day, so it stands to reason the remote message access profile is an essential addition for handsets, automobiles, headsets and aftermarket car kits,” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director Bluetooth SIG. “The Bluetooth MAP standard gives users the ability to simply and smartly manage incoming text messages from their vehicle while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. We are seeing significant uptake in MAP adoption among phonemakers, in particular with recent qualifications from manufacturers such as HTC, RIM, Samsung and LG.”