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IVR - Ford Makes Changes to Voice-Recognition Software on Sync and MyFord Touch Systems
June 24, 2011

Ford Makes Changes to Voice-Recognition Software on Sync and MyFord Touch Systems

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributor

Ford has said that it’s modifying the voice-recognition software on its Sync and MyFord Touch systems.

The company is making changes to the software as it has been receiving complaints from drivers who, reportedly, find the connectivity tools frustrating or difficult to use. Mark Fields, president for the Americas at Ford, said that the company’s internal evaluation of its quality for 2011 is mixed and that it is making changes.

With Sync, drivers can make hands-free phone calls and request music with simple voice commands, while MyFord Touch, an advanced version of Sync, allows drivers to control almost all the features of the vehicle by voice command or an interactive touch screen -- eliminating conventional control knobs.

There have been growing criticisms from safety advocates regarding the screen’s design as they find it distracting. However, Ford officials have said drivers should be able to access the controls by voice command while keeping their eyes on the road. There were complains that certain commands did not trigger a response.

Thanks to the recent changes, system can respond to frequently used words or phrases with a question, and it does not say that it does not recognize a command. Moreover, according to company officials, there is more in recognizing regional dialects.

“It picks up words like traffic and says: there’s traffic information available. Is that what you want?” said David Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific. “We're moving closer to having a conversation with the car.”

Recently, the company said that Ford SYNC AppLink software program is migrating to a new group of 2012 Ford vehicles, giving more vehicle owners the opportunity to enjoy intuitive voice control of and access to their smartphone apps on the go.

Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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