Ford exhibited at Mobile World Congress for the first time this week, revealing voice-activated bluetooth phone technology system SYNC.
SYNC is a Microsoft powered system currently used by 4 million drivers in the US and the system allows drivers to make calls, control music playlists and use in-car apps that mimic apps on smartphones such as weather, news and entertainment feeds.
SYNC works by pairing your smartphone with your car and allows direct connection of iPhone and USB music devices. What Mobile tested the system on new Ford car B-Max and found that songs could be accessed in under 2 seconds via voice control as SYNC identifies and stores track details from iTunes or any phone storage system and displays the details on the dashboard.
Speaking to Ford’s Chief Technical Officer Paul Mascarenas, What Mobile learned that SYNC is the first part of Ford’s connected strategy – preceding cloud based concept car EVOS and even cars that talk to each other and offer automatic driving functions…
“I think we’ll see two to three million UK drivers using SYNC within the next two to three years” Mascarenas told What Mobile. “We launched SYNC on the Focus in the US which, at that time, was our most affordably priced vehicle. In terms of our launch strategy in Europe, it’s the same thought process” said Macarenas.
Ford also offer a free Emergency Assistance service as part of SYNC which uses your smartphone to determine your GPS location and calls the local emergency services when the airbag is deployed. The system then sends an audio message in the local language to the emergency services with your vehicle model and location, before opening up hands free communication between the driver and the emergency services.
SYNC will launch on B-Max, Fiesta and Cougar vehicle ranges during the summer.