SYNC® Lets You Just Say No

MyFord Touch™ driver connect, launching on the 2011 Ford Edge, will feature more technology to help people manage driver distractions. Ford is also making it easier to control in-car systems with fewer steps and more natural language. Customers will be able to speak more than 10,000 first-level commands, up from only 100 in the first-generation SYNC® system.

To help make the in-car connection safer, Ford is improving the SYNC text message readback feature and empowering drivers with a “Do Not Disturb” button so they can decide the level of connectivity and communications they want to manage while in the car. Ford is also taking the proactive step to “lock-out” capabilities that are not relevant to the task of driving while the vehicle is in motion.

Ford believes drivers should keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel and was the first automaker to support a proposed federal ban and state-level legislation banning hand-held texting while driving. In turn, Ford also understands that drivers want to be connected to their mobile worlds while on the road, and texting continues to grow as a preferred communication method. According to a new poll from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, for example, approximately one in four (27 percent) American adults and driving age teens (26 percent) admit to texting while driving.

Bluetooth is the standard technology that allows electronic devices such as a mobile phone and Ford SYNC to communicate with each other wirelessly. To improve the number of phones that can communicate with SYNC so the system can read aloud incoming text messages to drivers, Ford has adopted the latest Bluetooth standard – Message Access Profile (MAP).

Defined by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, the MAP standard outlines a set of features and procedures used to exchange email, SMS, and MMS messages between devices. It is tailored to the automotive hands-free environment where an onboard terminal device – in this case, SYNC – takes advantage of the messaging capability of a communications device, such as a BlackBerry smartphone.

In addition, Ford continues to limit access to a variety of communication features while the vehicle is in motion, thus encouraging drivers to use voice commands if they wish to access the function. Ford is also taking the proactive step of locking out or limiting content and capabilities of MyFord Touch that are not related to the task of driving when the vehicle is in motion, for instance:

  • Screens with information not intended to be used by the driver while driving such as point-of-interest reviews and ratings plus SIRIUS Travel Link sports scores, movie listings, and ski conditions
  • Any action that requires typing on a keypad (e.g. typing a navigation destination, editing information)
  • Limiting lists of navigation and phone choices that the user can view to fewer entries (e.g. phone contacts, recent phone call entries)

Ford is also working with voice technology pioneers Nuance Communications, and plans to once again raise the bar with the next generation of SYNC. The voice upgrades will be available on the next generation of SYNC powering the new driver connect technology, MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch. The system will make it easier for drivers to use voice control and get what they want more quickly using more natural phrases. Customers will be able to speak more than 10,000 first-level commands, up from only 100 in first-generation SYNC.

Examples of some improvements to SYNC powering MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles include:

More direct, first-level commands

  • “Call John Smith” dials the phone number associated with John in a connected phone’s phonebook directly – the user isn’t required to say “Phone” first
  • Direct commands related to destinations, like “Find a shoe store” or “Find a hotel,” place users in the navigation system menu where they will be walked through the POI search process
  • The command, “Add a phone,” will enter the phone pairing menu and walk users through the connection process – users don’t have to enter a phone submenu to initiate the pairing process

Quicker, easier entry and search

  • Navigation entries can be spoken as a single one-shot command; for example, “One American Road, Dearborn,” instead of requiring individual city, street and building number entries
  • Brand names are recognized by the navigation POI menu, allowing drivers to look for chain restaurants, shoe stores, department stores and more, as well as regional and local favorites
  • Direct tuning of radio stations by simply saying “AM 1270” or “FM 101.1,” or using SIRIUS station names or numbers such as “21” or “Alt-Nation”

Use of aliases

  • Within the climate menu, users can voice-request the same function using several different phrases, such as “Warmer,” “Increase temperature” or “Temperature up” – helping reduce the need for drivers to learn specific commands
  • When requesting a specific song from an MP3 player, users can now say “Play song [title]” in addition to saying “Play track [title]”

Personalized access

  • If an occupant’s USB-connected device, such as an MP3 player, has been named, users can simply say the device name, such as “John Smith’s iPod,” rather than the less personal “USB” command

Click here to learn more about MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch on

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Scheley Cummins I have a new 2011 Lincoln MKZ with the voice activated navigation system. How can I located the altimeter to check my altitude?
4 year(s) ago via
Chris Your 2010 should have voice-controlled navigation. My 2010 does. Just hit the Sync button while driving and look at the options. You should be able to say 'Navigation' or 'Destination'.
4 year(s) ago via
Dusty I recently purchased a 2010 Lincoln MKX with this locked down, sub-standard navigation system in it. Had I known that it would not function while I was driving and I have to resort to using my cell phone and a paper foldout map to look up addresses, then stop along side the road, to program the navigation system, I would have purchased another vehicle. I am all for paying attention while driving but this has turned into the biggest distraction we have had in our new Lincoln and it has forced us into several dangerous driving situations. I own another vehicle with perfect voice activated, navigation systems that can be programmed while driving, even by the driver. Ford needs to fix this problem.
4 year(s) ago via
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