Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally delivered the 1 millionth SYNC system to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in his new 2010 Fusion Hybrid.
SYNC is Ford’s fully integrated, voice-activated, in-car communications and entertainment system for mobile phones and digital music players. Since its debut in 2007 on the Ford Focus, SYNC has continued to gain in popularity. More than 80 percent of the vehicles Ford sells in North America are equipped with the system.
Like other advanced hardware and software solutions, SYNC continues to expand its applications. In 2008, SYNC was upgraded with two new applications, Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist. The company is also and more are on the way.
Ford’s latest SYNC application, “Traffic, Directions and Information,” provides hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, precise driving directions and up-to-date information including business listings, news, sports scores and weather.
The new applications functions through a Ford partnership with Microsoft and other recognized companies – INRIX, TeleNav, TellMe, M/A-COM and Airbiquity – to enable the new “Traffic, Directions and Information” voice-activated services to connect to real-time data via a customer’s Bluetooth-enabled phone.
The simple voice command, “services” gets the driver started, with the MicroSoft TellMe voice portal interpreting this request and ready to route it to the appropriate network partner.
Users who say “traffic,” for example, literally can receive personalized traffic reports based on best-in-class content from INRIX, a company that gathers real-time speeds, directions and locations from nearly 1 million commercial trucks and cars driving America’s roadways.
In a text message sent to the user’s phone and broadcast over the vehicle’s audio system in real-time, drivers get the location and severity of accidents or new road construction causing areas of heavy congestion.
Drivers requesting directions can use a variety of search criteria including a 14-million-plus business directory to find their destination, be it a favorite coffee shop or the location of a business meeting. Drivers can say “search near me” or the name of the business and then say “connect me,” “directions” or “text me the info.”
If a user answers “directions,” a turn-by-turn route is downloaded from partner Telenav and is spoken to the user over the vehicle’s audio system and displayed on the central information display near the radio. All directions incorporate real-time traffic information therefore always providing the best route to the driver.
With the new SYNC application, drivers can also personalize and categorize their favorite media topics, such as sports, weather and news using voice commands or through www.syncmyride.com.
How’s that for being up on the latest technology?
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