Ford announces voice assistance to be standard with SYNC
Wednesday 21 September 2011
Ford has announced that live operator assistance is to become a standard feature on its SYNC telematics system.
The US automaker confirmed September 20 that Live Operator, a service which connects drivers to operators who can help them get directions or find business addresses, will be available for all users of the SYNC system.
The move follows a short trial of Live Operator for select users over the summer, and will bring Ford in line with competitor General Motors, which has built its premium OnStar product around the ability to connect with live people.
Customers using SYNC, which provides visual and spoken information to North American drivers on everything from news to horoscopes via an internet connection, will be able to say the word 'Operator' to prompt their car to dial the service center for them.
Unlike most other SYNC services, Live Operator will be chargeable, although new customers buying a vehicle will receive 60 complimentary sessions and those who bought within the last three years will receive a pro-rata'd number.
Using a web interface, all other drivers will be able to pay for an annual subscription for $60 or buy a prepaid number of sessions to use.
Ford's decision is a telling addition to its telematics range - it has focused heavily on computer-based services and was stung by criticism earlier this year that its SYNC product had become too confusing.
Now, the automaker will directly compete with OnStar, which has allowed live assistance to drive the telematics systems found in General Motors brands such as Chevrolet and Buick, only recently adding more software services and apps.
The SYNC system is due to launch in Europe next year, although it is unknown whether Live Operator will also debut.
Life & Style blogs
Airline food across the classes: Ever wondered what the other half are eating?
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Huawei P8 review: best phones nobody's seen from the biggest company nobody's heard
The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive - it's where the CIA gets its coffee fix
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
- 1 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 2 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...