On a trip from Denver to Las Vegas I used Sync Services turn by turn directions. It worked great but it could do much more. The Sync in my Explorer knew that my remaining fuel range was 135 miles. Sync Services knew that the trip was 692 miles. So, Sync Services should have put it together like this:
Sync: Your route is being calculated.
Sync: Your current fuel range is 135 miles and your route is 692 miles.
Sync: Should I include directions to gas stops along the route?
Behind the scenes Sync checks gas-buddy or some other online source, adds the side-trips to the cheapest gas stations within a mile of the normal route.
Sync: Adding gas stops to your route
Sync: Downloading your route.
Sync: Download complete,
Sync: Your first fuel stop will be in 43 miles in Lakewood.
That's something that google maps can't do! Making this happen would not require any anything in the car beyond a software update so that direction requests uploaded remaning fuel range - something Sync already knows. Most of the work should be modifications to the software at Sync Services. It should work on all second generation sync hardware, maybe even first generation.
This is a small thing but it sets Sync apart from the map application that every smart phone has today and gives buyers another reason to want Sync.
Who knows, maybe Ford could partner with some of the regional or nation wide gas companies and recommend them first. Ford gets a marketing tie in. The gas company gets customers to buy gas and slushies. And maybe we drivers get a code number when we pull into the station to save 2 cents a gallon or just for a free slushy. Everybody wins!
The final benefit is one that everyone that has used Sync directions will recognize: When you turn off the Interstate for gas you don't get the anoying message, "You have left the planned route. Would you like to update?"
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