COLOGNE, Germany - Ford is preparing to deliver a major boost to a safer driving experience for young drivers in Europe with the integration of MyKey and SYNC with Emergency Assistance features - assuring parents that the emergency services can be quickly notified should an accident occur when their child is at the wheel.
MyKey will make its European debut in 2012, giving parents the ability to control vehicle settings including maximum speed and audio system volume for young drivers by programming them into an individual key.
MyKey will also ensure that selected driver assistance features cannot be disabled by young drivers, including the Emergency Assistance feature that will arrive with the new SYNC system on Ford Focus in 2012.
The extremely advanced Emergency Assistance feature has been designed to inform the emergency services in the event of an accident, immediately responding to airbag deployment or fuel pump shut-off activation. The feature provides vehicle drivers and passengers across Europe and nearby regions with additional peace of mind as part of the SYNC package. When combined with MyKey, the Emergency Assistance feature will extend that peace of mind to the parents of young drivers – the most at risk age group on the roads.
Using MyKey parents can ensure that the Emergency Assistance feature is always available to make an Emergency Call when a mobile phone is paired with the SYNC system using the standard Bluetooth® integration. The Emergency Assistance feature is offered by Ford without the subscription required by systems from some competitors.
“Emergency Assistance is a potentially life-saving technology that we will be offering to customers free of charge for the life of their Ford vehicle,” said Ford CEO and president Alan Mulally.
“It’s another example of how we deliver real value to our customers through smart technology that leverages the connectivity they already pay for with their mobile device for our European customers.”
Emergency Assistance is able to accurately determine the location of the vehicle using a combination of the onboard GPS unit, map database and information from the customer’s mobile phone before making a call to emergency services.
The system ensures that emergency services are contacted with an introductory message communicating to the operator that a crash has occurred at a precise location in the correct language for the region.
The only system that calls the emergency operator directly with key information about the incident including GPS location, rather than losing precious time by first directing the call through a third party call centre, the Emergency Assistance feature is the most advanced system of its type available.
Able to directly communicate with emergency services in more than 30 European countries, more than any other emergency call service, as well as several countries outside of the EU, the feature eliminates concerns drivers may have of not being able to call for assistance in the event of an accident because of language limitations or not knowing the emergency number for the area that they are in, as well as fears parents may have that their children may not be able to call for help if they have an accident closer to home.
Emergency Assistance will be part of the SYNC package coming to Europe with the Ford Focus in 2012. SYNC combines with the MyFord Touch interface to deliver a rich, interactive experience that makes vehicle functions, settings and information easily accessible to the driver through advanced voice control, through steering wheel controls or a simple tap of the 8-inch centre stack touch screen.
SYNC can recognise 10,000 commands in any one of 19 languages, giving drivers across Europe and around the world the power to control the majority of the vehicle's functions using their voice.
Media can be acquired using built-in USB ports for devices such as MP3 players, and SYNC with MyFord Touch features an SD-Card port and RCA inputs for audio and video. SYNC can also turn the car into a mobile WiFi hot spot, offering a connection using a portable USB modem or Bluetooth®-tethered compatible smartphone – turning an incoming single point of internet connectivity into a WiFi broadcast inside the car for up to five passengers to connect their internet-powered devices.
Ford anticipates that nearly two million new vehicles in Europe will feature the system by 2015, making a major contribution to the use of in-car technology alongside customer convenience.