CES News: Ford & Microsoft update and expand SYNC system

CES News:  Ford & Microsoft update and expand SYNC system

The new updated Ford SYNC will also create on demand user-friendly reports that owners can use to monitor the health of their vehicles.

SYNC enables customers to operate digital media players and Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones in their vehicles via voice command or the buttons on the steering wheel or radio.

SYNC will be available in nearly all Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars and trucks by the end of 2008, and customers with 2008 model-year SYNC-equipped vehicles will be able to have their systems updated with the new applications.

SYNC topped 30,000 unit sales in its first three months on the market, and Ford expects the technology to reach one million sales in early-2009.

911 Assist
When a phone is properly paired, turned on and connected to SYNC – which is designed to happen every time the driver enters the vehicle with his or her cell phone – the system will be ready to assist in placing a call to a local 911 emergency operator should an air bag-deploying accident occur.

Before initiating the emergency 911 call, SYNC will provide a ten-second window to allow an occupant to decide whether to cancel the call. If not manually cancelled within ten seconds, SYNC will place the emergency call, enabling occupants to communicate directly with the 911 operator.

If necessary, the location of the vehicle can be determined through voice-signal triangulation or, on some phones, the GPS location feature.

There is no additional monthly fee for this feature, as SYNC uses a customer’s existing mobile phone.

Vehicle health reports
Customers will be able to set up personal preferences for Vehicle Health Report (VHR) via the syncmyride.com website. Once established, a report can be requested at any time, at no cost, using simple voice commands.

SYNC will gather relevant information from the major vehicle control modules and send that information to Ford via an 800-number using the customer’s paired and operable mobile phone within minutes.

Once sent, the information is automatically analysed by Ford and a complete report is created and sent to the customer via text message or e-mail. Reports will also be accessible through the syncmyride website.

SYNC can also prompt vehicle owners to run a report at Ford-recommended mileage intervals.

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