Ford to roll out SYNC technology globally from 2012
That will be the theme of a speech by Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally at the 2011 CeBIT technology show in Hannover, Germany, tomorrow (1 March).
SYNC is already used in over three million cars in the US. Powered by the Microsoft Windows Embedded Automotive platform, the technology is used with the MyFord Touch interface to provide voice control of the vehicle functions, settings and information via steering wheel controls or using the centre stack touch screen. Used in this way it can control the climate control system, audio and entertainment functions, navigation and, crucially, devices linked to the car using the connectivity abilities via Bluetooth or USB port, eg mobile phones.
The voice command and control system has been developed in partnership with Nuance, a leading provider of voice technology, and can recognise 10,000 commands in any one of 19 languages, facilitating its use by European and global drivers.
SYNC will be able to understand US, UK and Australian English; European and Canadian French; European and US Spanish; and European and Brazilian Portuguese.
Elsewhere in Europe, German, Italian, Dutch, Russian and Turkish are all understood. Beyond Europe, languages such as Arabic, Korean and Japanese are also compatible.
'SYNC’s unique connection between the driver’s devices and the vehicle means that the user’s voice can control both the car and the device,' said Jason Johnson, SYNC product development engineer. 'Plus, SYNC is being developed specifically for European customers with the ability to understand multiple languages and accents; it can even decipher unique regional text message acronyms and support different units of distance and date formats.'
As well as connectivity benefits, Ford says that SYNC offers safer, smarter and simpler operation, by allowing the driver to take control without removing their hands from the steering wheel or eyes from the road.
Ford anticipates that nearly 2 million new vehicles in Europe will feature the system by 2015.