SHANGHAI, China –Ford will this year offer an emergency service in more vehicles than ever before in China, reinforcing its commitment to our customers by expanding its Emergency Assistance feature which is provided free for the life of the vehicle.
First introduced in China in the Ford Kuga and developed as part of the award-winning Ford SYNC® system, Emergency Assistance has since been expanded to the Focus ST, the all-new EcoSport, and the Ford Explorer. The service will be rolled out to the majority of Ford vehicles in China, including the all-new Mondeo and new Fiesta ST, by the end of 2013.
“By leveraging our SYNC connectivity system we have been able to bring this potentially life-saving technology to most of our Ford vehicles and thus many customers across China,” said Edward Pleet, connected services director, Ford Motor Company, Asia Pacific and Africa, and Europe. “This is another example of how we are going further to deliver real value and benefits to our customers through smart technologies.”
Ford vehicles also equipped with SYNC with MyFord Touch™ – the Kuga, Explorer and the upcoming all-new Mondeo – have a priority emergency screen that contains location information during the emergency call, along with quick-touch access to “In Case of Emergency (ICE)” contacts at the end of the call.
Emergency Assistance can accurately determine the location of the Ford vehicle using the vehicle’s on-board GPS unit. The system, which supports English and Mandarin, contacts the call centre with an introductory message and communicates to the operator that a crash has occurred at a precise location.
SYNC utilises the customer’s existing mobile phone, so customers do not have to worry about paying additional monthly fees or renewing subscriptions for Emergency Assistance.
Unlike embedded systems in some competitors’ vehicles, Emergency Assistance allows the occupant to leave the car if they can and continue the call with emergency services on the mobile phone.
How it works
When a mobile phone is paired with SYNC for the first time, the owner will be prompted to set SYNC Emergency Assistance on. Once turned on, it remains so unless the customer decides to turn the feature off. Every time the driver enters the vehicle with Bluetooth enabled on their phone, the phone connects to SYNC automatically and Emergency Assistance runs in the background. It is thus ready to assist in phoning the call centre should an accident occur in which an airbag deploys or, in certain vehicles, the emergency fuel pump shutoff is activated.
Before initiating the emergency call, SYNC will provide a 10-second window to allow the driver or passenger to decide whether to cancel the call. If not manually cancelled within the 10-second window, SYNC will dial Ford’s dedicated toll-free call centre via the hands-free phone capability.
The Emergency Assistance feature delivers a critical voice message to the call centre operator, indicating that a Ford vehicle has been in a crash. The call centre then opens the line for a three-way conversation with the vehicle occupant and emergency services.
The introductory message tells the operator that an accident has occurred, along with GPS coordinates that are generated by the vehicle’s on-board GPS receiver, which is especially helpful if the occupant is unconscious.
“Emergency Assistance ensures customers can get the help they need, when they need it,” Pleet said. “Using the most advanced technology, Ford is providing customers an extra layer of security and peace of mind.”