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Ford's UK cars get voice-activated control system

Ford has announced that its UK cars will be equipped with a system that will respond to spoken commands to help driver safety and convenience. Drivers will be able to change the radio station, adjust the climate control or even control the satellite navigation system without taking their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel. Ford’s Voice Control system will enable a phone number to be selected and dialed by a bonded mobile phone equipped with Bluetooth, by stating a few simple commands.

The system uses voice recognition software, which is designed to accommodate a wide range of different speech types and regional accents. It does not require any ‘teaching’ to learn the driver’s voice characteristics. To simplify operation, drivers can create personal ‘voice tags’ to recall frequently dialed numbers or favorite radio stations. Once these tags have been recorded, the system will recognize the name and select the required phone number or station frequency without the need for further information.

The new system will be an option on Ford’s small/medium cars, but will be standard on its Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy models. Markus Pazina, Ford navigation and connectivity engineer, says, “We have designed Ford Voice Control to be easy and intuitive to use. Drivers need to remember just a few simple commands, such as ‘phone’ or ‘dial name’, and the system guides them step-by-step.”

 

November 2, 2009

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