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car stereo seattle washingtonHave you ever utilized a ride-hailing service, or participated in a ride-share program, and wished you had more control of your experience? Wouldn’t it be nice to jam out to your preferred classic rock tunes, rather than the driver’s favorite polka band?

For Oleg Gusikhin, technician leader for Ford Motor Company’s advanced connected services, and his colleagues Omar Makke and Jeff Yeung, found their experience with Ford SYNC made this something worth tackling.

Thus was born SYNC Remote Control. “By rethinking mobile connectivity from the passenger’s perspective, we saw how we can use smartphones to give riders control through SYNC without the need to be directly paired via Bluetooth,” Gusikhin says, according to the Ford Motor Company Media Center.

Basically, ride-share passengers use an app interface on their mobile device that will SYNC to the driver’s phone (without pairing), providing control over the vehicle’s climate and radio functions. There is potential to add control over other mechanical features, such as the passenger seat. Additionally, the app will have a translation feature, to remedy communication barriers between the passenger and driver if needed. All the passenger has to do is type in the desired phrase and the phone will audibly translate.

Looking to the future, this innovation will come in handy when science fiction meets reality and the world is crawling with fully automated vehicles.