Suna rises on Falcon
Ford is adding satnav features, writes STEPHEN OTTLEY
TRAFFIC jams will be a thing of the past for Ford Falcon drivers thanks to a new satellite navigation system. Ford is pulling out all the stops to boost slow Falcon sales and has become the first Australian car company to offer Suna Traffic Channel in its satnav.
Suna Traffic Channel provides up-to-date traffic conditions on the satnav. It also can direct drivers around traffic jams and other delays.
The system includes the latest redlight and fixed-point speed camera locations, which come with pop-up warnings.
The satnav also includes the latest update of the Sensis Whereis maps and is available in cars built from this month.
Despite strong praise for the Falcon from the industry, sales are still falling well short of the 18-month-old Holden VE Commodore. VFacts sales figures for July show the FG Falcon sold 3448 and Holden shifted 4906 Commodores.
Though the Suna Traffic Channel is available on most aftermarket satnavs — including TomTom, Mio and Navman — the Falcon is the only car to have it in the factory unit.
‘‘Ford’s electrical engineering team has worked closely and collaboratively with the Suna Traffic Channel provider in the past two years to make this exciting new feature a reality for the FG Falcon, which has been designed from the outset to be a technology-capable vehicle platform,’’ Ford’s chief electrical engineer Stuart Taylor says.
The current-generation Territory’s satnav system isn’t compatible with the Suna program but Ford spokesman Justin Lacy says that is likely to change next year.
The feature adds $290 to the price of the Falcon satnav. The system now costs $2290.
Suna has been developed by Intelematics Australia, an RACV subsidiary, and has been operating in Melbourne since last year.
The system runs around the clock and receives about 600 updates each day. The Falcon deal coincides with the system’s launch in Sydney and Brisbane. Other major cities will be added in the next two years.
According to Intelematics CEO Adam Game, Suna is designed to give widespread coverage.
‘‘Intelematics’ Suna traffic service provides deep urban arterial coverage rather than just focusing on inter-city freeway links and will initially cover more than 75 per cent of Australia’s urban population,’’ Game says.
‘‘These urban traffic corridors are more frequently used by Australian drivers and are pivotal in the provision of a traffic-management service in this country.’’
Suna covers more than 1.1 million kilometres of road and 600,000 points of interest. It includes the latest roads, such as EastLink.
Warning: Suna Traffic Channel provides alerts on traffic jams and ways of getting around them.