Ford's Voice Activated "Sync 3" Has Arrived- Just Say What You Need And It Takes You There
By Maddy Price
Monday, February 22, 2016 - 11:54
Ford Motor Company is launching its new SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system in Europe, allowing drivers to control their connected smartphones, audio, navigation, and climate functions with more conversational voice commands. Drivers will simply push a button and speak to find nearby cafés, petrol stations or car parks by saying “I need a coffee,” “I need petrol,” and “I need to park,” using new SYNC 3. The voice-activated communications and entertainment system also enables drivers to operate new apps and earn money delivering packages, share audio clips, check weather.
SYNC 3 features a redesigned 8‑inch touch screen and faster performance. Simply by pushing a button and saying “I need a coffee,” “I need petrol,” and “I need to park,” drivers can find nearby cafés, petrol stations or car parks, as well as locate train stations, airports, and hotels. The system then guides the driver to the selected destination via the navigation.
The system will be demonstrated for the first time at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on the new Kuga, which Ford also is revealing at the event. The company announced new apps for the system that can be voice-activated using SYNC AppLink, enabling drivers to earn money by transporting packages, to record and share audio clips, and to check the weather. SYNC 3 launches in Europe in the summer, starting with Mondeo, S-MAX, and Galaxy.
“Whether you are craving your morning cappuccino on your daily commute or covering the cost of a journey by transporting a package, SYNC 3 brings to life innovative new ways of staying connected on the move,” said Christof Kellerwessel, chief engineer, Electronic and Electrical Systems Engineering, Ford of Europe. “Designed to complement modern smartphones, with an intuitive touch screen, SYNC 3 understands more conversational speech, is faster, and offers an easier-to-read graphical interface.”
Ford SYNC already enables drivers of 15 million vehicles worldwide to voice-activate essential in‑car features. Now for SYNC 3, Ford has drawn on more than 22,000 comments, and insights gained from research clinics and surveys to ensure the new version is the most customer‑centric designed system to date.
Simplifying the user experience by putting the options customers use most at their fingertips – navigation, audio and phone – the system has been further improved through increased processing power and a reduction in the number of steps required for a command.
Ford has added compatibility with five additional languages* and more localised versions of the subscription-free Emergency Assistance. In the event of an accident where the airbag has deployed or fuel shut off has occurred, Emergency Assistance utilises a Bluetooth paired and connected mobile phone to help vehicle occupants initiate a direct call to Emergency Services in the correct language for the region. Emergency Assistance alerts first responders with the vehicle location to help emergency call-takers send appropriate resources to the scene.
Starting this year, owners of SYNC 3-equipped vehicles will have more choice in how they access their smartphones in the car:
- iPhone users can activate Apple CarPlay, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car allowing drivers to make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimised for traffic conditions, and more while they stay focused on the road. The system is also compatible with Siri Eyes Free which allows for easy access to Siri with iPhones connected over Bluetooth
- Android™ users can activate Android Auto™. Android Auto makes apps and services that drivers already know and love, accessible in safer and seamless ways including Google Search, Google Maps and Google Play
Over-the-air software updates are automatically available via Wi-Fi, once a vehicle is set up with credentials for a home Wi-Fi network accessible in a customer’s driveway or garage.
SYNC 3 also enhances the driver’s experience using the Ford Service App by providing Online Traffic Information on the navigation map for better journey planning, adapting to changing traffic situations.
“With pinch-to-zoom and swipe gestures, plus the familiar one-box-search we know from internet search engines, SYNC 3 provides customers with an experience on the vehicle screen very similar to smartphone screens, and is easier and more intuitive,” Kellerwessel said.
Pioneering new apps
First introduced in Europe in 2013, Ford’s SYNC AppLink technology already enables drivers to voice-activate a wide range of smartphone apps, including ADAC, Audioteka, AUPEO!, Cityseeker by Wcities, Cyclops, DetektorFM, DIE WELT, Eventseeker by Wcities, Glympse, Goal Live Scores, Meople, n-tv, Radioplayer, Roald Dahl Audiobooks, Spotify and Wetter.de.
Now Ford is making five new apps available to drivers with the launch of SYNC 3, including the first in-car apps of their kind, MyBoxMan and HearMeOut.