New Connected Car Ford SYNC 3 goes further with voice & Wi-Fi updates

FORSYNC3Ford introduced SYNC 3, its new entertainment system with voice commands and faster speeds that will be coming on new Ford cars, next year.

The voice recognition is more conversational and the touchscreen is more smartphone-like. Software can be updated via a local secure Wi-Fi network.

Ford considered recommendations from drivers, researchers and testing while developing SYNC 3 while making it optimized for hands-free use.

The interface offers faster responses to touch as well as voice commands and smartphone-like gestures including pinch-to-zoom and swipe are central to SYNC 3, along clean clear graphics.

Under dark conditions the screen automatically switches to a dark background to help reduce eye fatigue and minimize reflections on the windows.

The home screen features three zone choices – Navigation, Audio and Phone to make it easier to use.

With SYNC 3, when you say “play, song, artist, album or genre, that prompts the system to play the desired song, artist, playlist or album. To change back to a radio station, the user just says the name of the SiriusXM station or terrestrial radio station number. Voice search doesn’t have to exact.

SYNC 3 allows for Siri Eyes-Free control, by holding down the steering wheel button.

AppLink allows customers to connect their smartphone to their vehicle and control their compatible apps using voice commands or buttons on the vehicle display screen. AppLink now automatically discovers smartphone apps including Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher, NPR One, SiriusXM Radio and iHeartRadio Auto, and displays their unique graphics and branding. Music and news apps are automatically displayed along with other media sources, just like AM/FM or SiriusXM. SYNC 3 also offers subscription-free emergency service 911 Assist.

The driver’s Bluetooth-connected phone is used to dial 911 in case of an accident. With SYNC 3, the car relays additional information, including if airbags were deployed, the type of crash (front, side, rear or rollover) and the number of safety belts detected in use,  to help emergency call dispatchers.

Los Angeles parking app challenge from Ford asks devs to recreate parking lots

losangelesemptyparkinglotDevelopers could win as much as $15,000 for finding new exciting creative uses for Los Angeles’ vast parking space surplus and quagmire of problems.

Los Angeles has a parking problem even though  it has the highest density of parking spaces in the world. It’s downtown contains more spaces per acre than any other city. However finding a parking spot can still be difficult and stressful.  L.A. also has a mountain-size surplus because lots are built for prime times and often vacant.

In connected car face imaging recognizes driver and hand signals for private driving with Mobii

speakdestinationMobile Interior Imaging, or Project Mobii is a joint project from Ford and Intel that could stop car thieves and prevent accidents. The cameras can see gestures to control car functions and smartphone connections.  They can be programmed to keep private information such as contacts private.

Mobii research tested new applications for interior cameras, including driver authentication for improved privacy controls that identify different drivers and automatically adjust features based on an individual’s preferences.