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Ford puts safety back into SMS's

2012-04-04 08:10

TALKING SENSE: Ford's new Sync system lets cellphone owners use voice commands to SMS safely.

BRENTWOOD, England - A study in the UK has shown that one in three drivers there reads SMS messages while driving - a highly distracting habit that contribute to traffic accidents.

It can also upset marital bliss... check the video below.

The study was commissioned by Ford to underscore the safety issue as the company prepares to introduce its SYNC in-car connectivity system, which can read aloud incoming messages through a text-to-speech feature and enables drivers to send a text reply by voice from a pre-determined list of responses.


Despite the prevalence of the practice, drivers agreed overwhelmingly that reading texts on the move was dangerous; 95% thought texting affected driving ability and safety. At least half of those surveyed said they believed a driver's response time was halved while checking messages on a cellphone.

Christof Kellerwessel, chief engineer for electronic and electrical systems engineering with Ford Europe, saaid: “Smart phones have quickly become an essential part of many people’s day but text messages can be a distraction for drivers so the benefit of a system that can read messages aloud from compatible smart phones is obvious.”

Ford SYNC will debut around the middle of 2012 on all-new B-Max units and will roll out to other vehicles in Ford’s line-up, including the Focus and Kuga. The text-to-speech feature on SYNC, powered by Microsoft, retrieves messages using a simple voice command from Bluetooth-connected compatible smart phones.


SYNC also enables drivers to send a text reply from a pre-determined list of responses, such as “See you in 10 minutes” - helping drivers to remain focused on driving while staying in touch with contacts.

SYNC’s text-to-speech feature will be compatible with an increasing range of smart phones thanks to Ford’s adoption of the emerging Message Access Profile standard (MAP) for Bluetooth device-to-device connectivity, already in use by leading mobile device manufacturers.

More than four-million Ford vehicles in the US already feature SYNC and Ford anticipates 3.5-million new vehicles in Europe will be so equipped by 2015.

To support the introduction of Ford SYNC, the company has produced the following top "textiquette" tips called OMG! ‘Textiquette’ according to Ford Motor Company

1 Exercise common courtesy. Reading or listening to a text while in conversation is bad manners.
2 Don’t compose or read texts while driving – listen to them instead!
3 At the theatre or cinema, keep your phone in your pocket to avoid the distracting glow of your mobile phone as you text your friends.
4 Always check the recipient's number one last time before you press "send" – this avoids the embarrassment of personal texts being received unintentionally.
5 Use caution with your tone. It’s easy for someone to misinterpret a message. Sarcasm does not always travel well.
6 Check your spelling and dispute autocorrect. You want to order a “tuxedo” not “sexy toes”.
7 If the message is urgent, it’s always better to make a voicecall. Ford SYNC technology will allow you to call your mobile phone contacts with voice activation controls.
8 Never break up or dismiss someone from their job by text. Ever.

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