At Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2012, the symbiosis between mobile and auto is clear with the Ford Motor Company.
Ford Executive Chairman and grandson of Ford founder, Bill Ford opened up the presentation and was proud to announce Fords mobile with mobility strategy to better integrate our “digital lives into our vehicles.”
Partnering with Microsoft since 2007, Ford developed a voice controlled technology called SYNC. SYNC allows drivers to simply use their voice to control the entertainment system through WIFI or Bluetooth. The breakthrough technology gives drivers the freedom and convenience to control while letting them feel safe by keeping their eyes on the road.
There are already 4 million SYNC equipped cars in the U.S. and today Ford unveiled the first one available for sale in Europe. SYNC technology will be deployed across four models; Focus, Fiesta, Kuga and Transit and available in nine European languages.
Included in their BMax range, cars connect to mobile devices through Bluetooth pairing. Pairing is device agnostic so it means you can connect to any smartphone or MP3 music player. Basic functionality lets people send text messages, read text messages aloud and control their music on their iPod all through voice. Knowing that people are addicted to mobile apps, a system called Applink lets you activate certain apps through voice. Ford announced they are actively seeking developers to help them create such voice controlled apps for their cars.
Safety and security is a core focus for Ford and the car delivers a number of exciting features. One example given was if you were from England and were driving your English Ford Focus through the beautiful Spanish country side but happened to run into an accident, the car will be your saviour. In the event your car breaks down, the car will place an automatically generated call in Spanish to the local operator. The car will give the operator your exact location and then allow you to speak with the operator directly for further assistance, even from outside the car.
In line with Ford’s strategy to bring mobility to the masses through affordability, the BMax voice technology will be available for free for the life time of the vehicle.
Proving an increasingly seamless integration between personal and business life, Ford is connecting to the cloud. By syncing with the cloud, the car can even automatically close the garage door for you after you leave. Once on the road, cloud connectivity can check your schedule for the day with your calendar and tell you what appointments you have. If you get stuck in traffic, the car will even update you on a different route to take. Running late for that meeting and need a car park? No problem. The car can even locate the best car parking space for you.