Ford Motor Co. is pushing to build on its appeal with those of us who can’t seem to live without our phone by researching the idea of a voice-to-text system for motorists.
“Researching”? Yeah, right. Translation: It’s just a matter of when it’ll be made available to the public. The technology would enable drivers to communicate their text messages via their phones, according to published reports. The news comes following the carmaker’s support of a proposed U.S. ban on texting while driving.
“A voice-recognition approach is better than bringing in a piece of paper and unfolding a map or looking down at a mobile device,” Jim Buczkowski, Ford’s director of electronics, was quoted as telling one news source. “We’re looking at various combinations of accomplishing that task because it’s being asked for by consumers.”
The Ford text-to-voice technology will be showcased at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show held each January in Las Vegas. It builds on the growing appeal of Ford’s hands-free SYNC technology that enables drivers to do everything from using their mobile phone to quickly getting 911 assistance.
Ford’s latest SYNC application, Traffic, Directions and Information, provides hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, precise driving directions and up-to-date information including business listings, news, sports scores and weather.
The new applications function through a Ford partnership with Microsoft and other recognized companies — INRIX, TeleNav, TellMe, M/A-COM and Airbiquity — to enable the new Traffic, Directions and Information voice-activated services to seamlessly connect to real-time data via a customer’s Bluetooth-enabled phone.