In-Car Tech

Here's how Ford's breadcrumbs feature works in SYNC 3

Ford models equipped with the SYNC 3 system with navigation can leave breadcrumbs while off-roading.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford's vehicles are becoming increasing more off-road capable with the introduction of new Ranger, F-150, Super Duty, and Expedition, and the announcement of a partnership with ARB. The automaker's "breadcrumb" feature in its SYNC 3 system can help make drivers more confident during their off-road adventuring.

Every journey starts with a first step, or, in some cases, the first rotation of a wheel. Drivers who go off-roading can use their SYNC 3 navigation system to leave "breadcrumbs" that will document their path of travel. Here's how it works.

Drivers must enable the Breadcrumb feature in SYNC 3 enabled vehicles' navigation settings. Then they need to start their journey. Once they get going, the system "drops" virtual pins every second, creating a log of every inch the vehicle travels using satellite technology.

Adventurers can then look back at their trail to navigate their return journey to the paved road.

Satnav Breadcrumbs is included with the Ford Ranger's navigation system, which is available on XLT and Lariat truck models. Any other Ford truck models with SYNC 3 with navigation have access to the feature.

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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

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Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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