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DEARBORN, Mich., March 25, 2021 – Ford vehicles now offer another way to enrich people’s car rides and road trips, whether they’re preparing to enjoy the great outdoors or rediscover their own neighborhoods after more than a year of lockdowns and restrictions.
Mappo is a new way to explore the world around you through the lens of history, popular culture, architecture, sports and more – all supported by audio content from literary icons, historians, authors, musicians and others. Now available for iOS and Android devices, the app includes themed routes and is expected to expand quickly through crowd-sourced, user-generated content from people around the world.
“People love telling their friends about interesting places in books, movies and music – now they can share these passions with the world through Mappo,” said Stuart Taylor, global director, Ford enterprise connectivity. “Mappo makes long drives or brief escapes richer experiences, whether people stay inside their vehicle or step out to experience a landmark.”
After supporting development of the app, Ford is the first automaker to offer its customers an in-vehicle Mappo experience. Customers who have vehicles equipped with SYNC® 3 or SYNC 4 technology will be able to use Mappo through voice commands, giving them an easy way to experience the app as they travel. Mappo also will be available for the all-new 2021 F-150, Mustang Mach-E, Bronco SUV and other future Ford vehicles.
While many mapping apps relay a park location or the hours of a restaurant, Mappo offers people a different look at the world around them. Powered by an innovative software engine – plus the ability for users to add notable locations – Mappo lets travelers explore cities by getting to know the cultural, historical and heritage sites. Points of interest aren’t just marked on a map, but are supported with content such as quotes, book clips and trivia.
How it works
Mappo launches with more than 30,000 point-of-interest cultural references across more than a dozen major cities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The app allows you to browse points of interest nearby, or you can use the search box to look up themed routes based on a place, the name of an author or book, or several other filters such as movies, music and history. That means you can find routes that take you through various historical locations in Philadelphia, or find a walking tour through Central Park that highlights famous scenes from literature.
“Mappo developed a new way to consume culture-related content, in a way that is compatible with the most updated generation,” said Deddi Zucker, Mappo founder and CEO. “Our vision is to create unique experiences in every destination.”
While Mappo is regularly adding points of interest to cities around the world, it also allows people to highlight locations in places the app hasn’t directly supported yet. When noting a point of interest, users can upload quotes from books, movies, letters and authors to mark local sites – giving cities and their residents everywhere the chance to provide locals and visitors with curated routes to follow that explore their heritage and legacy.
Ford integration through SYNC
Ford in-vehicle integration makes the experience even easier. Led by the Ford connected vehicle platform and products team in Germany, in-vehicle integration enables seamless, voice-controlled use for customers as they drive, whether they’re looking to discover interesting new places or trying to shed light on underrated aspects of their own neighborhood.
Vehicles equipped with optional navigation technology can even use SYNC AppLink for the unique capability of creating routes to the points of interest found in the Mappo app.
Ford and Mappo worked closely to help ensure that taking your journey in and out of your Ford vehicle is easy as well. Any saved route on your smartphone can be easily selected once running the app inside your vehicle, and you can quickly pick up where you left off – whether leaving a vehicle to explore or coming back to continue to your next destination.
The newest Ford Research Center – Israel
Mappo is more proof of Ford’s sweeping global efforts to modernize – to cultivate innovation inside and outside the company and deliver must-have products for customers. It is another success for the Ford Research Center in Israel that opened in 2019 in the heart of Tel Aviv’s burgeoning technology community.
The center serves as a research hub augmenting the global research and advanced engineering team at Ford. It also supports the company’s automotive and mobility businesses by identifying technologies and startups in the fields of connectivity, sensors, automated systems research, in-vehicle monitoring and cybersecurity. Mappo itself is the product of a Ford MakeItDriveable challenge, which gives developers an opportunity to engage directly with Ford and potentially put their ideas on a fast track to market.
“Through the strong presence of the Ford Research Center in Israel, we have been working with local companies and partners in Israel’s tech community to advance innovations and push our research and engineering efforts forward,” said Boaz Hartal, technical director of the Ford Research Center in Israel.
Mappo is a startup company based in Tel Aviv that developed technology to extract quotes along with locations from any text, in order to create a layer on a map. This technology selects only relevant and exciting quotes to share with people, enabling Mappo to create location-based content layers globally from books, music and video. Mappo prompts users around the globe to upload stories from local writers and others.