Ford adds smartphone voice control to new vehicles

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

Ford is adding its Sync AppLink software to ten new vehicles in 2012. The platform allows a driver to "sync" a smartphone with his or her car for a hands-free, voice navigation experience.   

According to a recent J.D. Power and Associates 2011 report, 86 percent of smartphone owners use their devices while driving, while more than one in four Americans who run smartphone apps interact with them while on the road. 

These statistics reveal two important pieces of information. Firstly, drivers need more connectivity between their cars and  smartphones. Secondly, there should be a hands-free way to use a smartphone to reduce the risk of accidents.

Sync technology is designed to make driving safer by allowing drivers hands-free access to important information and apps.

The platform will be added to the 2012 Ford Fusion, Fusion Hybrid, Fiesta, F-150, F-150 SVT Raptor, Super Duty, Expedition, E-Series and Shelby GT500 as well as the previously announced 2012 Ford Mustang.

It should be noted that Ford is also helping to build a community of devs focused on creating applications for the Sync platform. So far, there are 2,500 independent developers codoing apps which can be used in hands-free mode while driving.

"We understand more and more drivers are using their devices and their apps while in the car," said Doug VanDagens, director of Ford Connected Services Solutions.

"Ford is a part of the solution, offering voice-activated options such as Ford SYNC with AppLink on a broader range of our products, which gives more customers a smarter way to access their apps while driving that keeps their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road."

AppLink is currently compatible with Apple iOS, Android and BlackBerry OS platforms.