Being connected is key.

Already claiming that its Ford Sync is the "world's leading in-vehicle entertainment and communications system" — and expecting its use to go from 15 million vehicles using it today to a projection of 43 million vehicles on the road by 2020 — the automaker announced another way to keep its drivers connected ... not to mention, entertained.

On Tuesday, Jan. 5, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, as part of Ford's news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016, CEO Mark Fields announced that the automaker, in conjunction with its recent third-generation release of Sync, will be giving drivers more choices at how they access their smartphones by making Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto infotainment systems available on all 2017 models.

Owners of 2016 models with Sync 3 will also be allowed to upgrade to add CarPlay or Android Auto.

While that news in itself is probably enough to satiate Ford drivers' need to be connected at all times, the automaker has also seen success with its Sync Connect software, which is powered by 4G LTE, and is capable of remote-starting vehicles, unlocking doors, and even locating parked vehicles.

Along those lines, Ford also announced Tuesday that its Smart Device Link, which integrates smartphone apps into vehicles, has already been adopted by Toyota as well as auto suppliers such as QNX and UIE. Fields added that automakers such as Honda, Subaru, and Mazda are also contemplating following suit.

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