BARCELONA, Spain – Ford is not only unveiling the exciting new B-MAX at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Company is also taking the opportunity to introduce its latest connectivity technologies to the public…
SYNC with Ford Emergency Assistance Makes European Debut
The arrival of the all-new B-MAX heralds the European introduction of SYNC, Ford’s voice-activated in-car connectivity system that takes the integration of mobile devices, voice control and convenience to a new level.
SYNC connects seamlessly to mobile devices through Bluetooth, features an iPod- and flash drive-compatible USB connection and also allows voice-activation of phone and digital music player functions. It will even read aloud SMS text messages from compatible devices and send pre-defined responses.
SYNC also brings a potentially lifesaving feature in Emergency Assistance, the only system of its kind which is designed to respond to a crash by calling the emergency services directly with the location of the accident. It is the most advanced system of its type and will be available in more than 30 countries across Europe and beyond.
The activation of an airbag or the vehicle’s emergency fuel pump shut-off prompts the vehicle to initiate an emergency call, using a pre-recorded message, through the occupant’s Bluetooth connected mobile phone. The message is even transmitted in the appropriate local language based on the GPS coordinates of the vehicle.
“Ford’s Emergency Assistance feature will deliver significant additional peace-of-mind to B-MAX customers,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford’s chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation. “It will also do so at no extra cost to the user for the lifetime of the vehicle and without requiring a subscription or registration, unlike competitor systems.”
SYNC already features on more than four million vehicles in North America and its European introduction through B-MAX is a significant step towards a worldwide target of 13 million users by 2015. Ford is also announcing that it expects to have over 3.5 million SYNC-enabled vehicles on the roads of Europe by 2015, making SYNC the pre-eminent in-car connectivity system globally.
SYNC Comes to Focus
Ford has confirmed that it will also add SYNC featuring Emergency Assistance to the Focus in 2012.
“Safety, comfort and convenience were key objectives when we developed and launched the Focus,” said Gunnar Herrmann, Ford global C-car vehicle line director. “Enhancing the Focus technology package is an on-going process as will be demonstrated by the arrival of SYNC and Emergency Assistance.”
The Ford Focus already features an extensive range of driver assistance and safety features that helped earn it recognition as Europe’s Best-in-Class small family car for 2011, from Euro NCAP, the leading authority on auto safety in Europe.
AppLink Goes Global
Ford has announced that AppLink, a feature which delivers voice control of Smartphone apps from the driver’s seat, will be introduced globally as part of its SYNC system.
“AppLink is an extremely useful and innovative addition to SYNC,” said Doug VanDagens, Ford’s global director of connected services. “We will work closely with leading developers around the world to develop apps which are compatible with SYNC AppLink and provide the best services for our customers.”
The global introduction of SYNC AppLink, following a successful roll out in North America, will deliver voice-control of smart phone apps to even more Ford customers, enabling them to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road while remaining connected when driving.
Ford aims to deliver voice-control compatibility with apps for a wide range of services, and is now actively seeking to partner with app developers on future opportunities. Developers can contact Ford at syncmyride.com/developer
Technology Fans Invited to Share Their Views
Ford is inviting technology fans to share what they want from the future of mobile phone and vehicle connectivity by joining forces to answer one big question, “What will communications technology in vehicles help us do in the future?”
Ford is asking Mobile World Congress attendees and technology fans across Europe to submit their answers via Twitter, through the Ford of Europe Facebook page, by posting on their own blogs or through video sharing sites like YouTube.
The best suggestions will be collated using Storify, allowing Ford to see how technology consumers feel in-car communications technology should develop over the coming years.
The activity was unveiled by Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president, Ford Research and Innovation. He invited event attendees to submit their suggestions on Twitter using the hash tag #FordMWC.