motoring / travel / 24/02/2014

Ford introduces SYNC 2

ford-mwcFord has announced its updated SYNC 2 in-car system at Mobile World Congress, which will hit the European market initially.

SYNC 2 will make its way to South Africa in 2014, which is tied to the launch of the Ford Fusion, but there’s no confirmation on which month exactly.

The updated voice activated SYNC 2 features a new 8-inch colour touchscreen, with fewer buttons, giving it a more simplified and sleek look. The navigation system has detailed 3D mapping with landmarks; climate control; and more advanced and smarter voice features.

sync-dashboard

If for example you are looking for a place to eat, all you have to do is push the voice control button and say “I’m hungry” and the system will bring up local restaurants. In areas supported, you can use the Michelin guide to find restaurants, and SYNC will let you make a call from your connected smartphone to make a booking directly.

Another simplified voice feature is through navigation. Instead of typing your address, you just say the address and SYNC will bring up directions.

You can also control the temperature by saying “temperature 20 degrees” and the car will adjust it accordingly.

ford-focus

Pim van der Jagt, executive technical leader at Ford Research and Advanced Engineering says they’ve developed SYNC 2 so it’s simple and intuitive for drivers to use and it switches seamlessly between touchscreen and voice commands.

“Drivers will be able to control more in-car systems than ever before, while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.”

Let’s hope this is the case, and we are not distracted by the 8-inch screen. With the voice command feature, which works great from my experience, it should mean less fiddling with the infotainment feature and just, more speaking to your car – totally normal 🙂

Ford also showed us its automated research car this morning, which is displayed at its stand at MWC. It is currently being used to research and test automated driving technologies – which isn’t cars that are driverless.

The automated features are meant to make driving safer, ease traffic congestion, and sustain the environment, according to Ford.

As you can see from the pic below, the car has four infrared light sensors – LiDAR (light detection and ranging) that scans whatever is around it such as pedestrians, vehicles, cyclists and small animals. The sensors provide real-time 3D maps with infrared light off anything in sight within 70 meters.

automated-car

Current automated features on Ford vehicles available in South Africa are Active Park Assist, Active City Stop, Lane Keeping Aid, and Traffic Sign Recognition.

Ford aims to bring new automated features such as Obstacle Avoidance, Fully Assisted Parking Aid and Traffic Jam Assist.

A lot of the features relate to helping you park, including park out, which helps you get out of a parking spot, and perpendicular parking. So essentially, if you’ve admitted to not knowing how to park, a Ford should be your next car!



Nafisa Akabor
Always online... except when I'm offline.