September 18th, 2014
If you think in your in-car voice recognition technology is terrible, you aren't alone. Many customers have felt their voice activation options have been limited or just haven't worked as well as they should. And for all of the costs of owning a vehicle - monthly payments, auto insurance, gas - every feature in the vehicle should work well. If voice recognition technology is part of car, you should be able to talk and have it answer.
Siri, are you there?
Ford Motor Co. is working to fix this issue by partnering with Automatic Labs and bring Apple's Siri to your cars. The auto manufacturer will be integrating Siri into its Ford and Lincoln vehicles through a small plug-in device. The little piece of equipment hooks up to the car in a port below the steering wheel, according to Auto News. Once installed, the device connects the car's computer and the driver's iPhone.
Drivers' current options
Before this device, drivers only had Ford SYNC to handle voice-operated commands and they would have to reach for their phones to make a call, turn on music or ask for directions. Now, they'll have a press-to-talk button on their steering wheel, which will connect them with Siri.
Increased safety is one of the main goals behind Automatic Labs' technology, according to its website. Ford SYNC advanced hands-free environments in cars but adding Siri to the mix makes it even better. With the easy-to-reach button on the wheel, drivers can keep their focus on where they're going.
"Ford believes that voice control is important to a safer and smarter mobility experience," said Jim Buczkowski, Ford's director of electrical and electronic systems. "This enables us to provide additional voice-controlled features like Siri for iPhone users - Ford drivers can now access Siri while keeping hands on the wheel and eyes on the road."
More than calls and music
The new technology will enable drivers to connect with the Internet of Things and use If This Then That services, Auto News reported. Drivers can use one of hundreds predesigned IFTTT recipes or they can create their own. They'll be able to keep track of their driving details and expenses, automatically send messages to friends and family or connect with remote-access devices at home.
"We want to offer our customers choices while also enabling them to get the best value out of their vehicles," said Buczkowski. "By working with Automatic, we are able to provide current and future SYNC owners with several complementary new features."