October 18, 2011
Ford Sync to Add Ability to Read Smartphone Texts Out loud
While most people realize that texting while driving is incredibly dangerous, thousands of people still do it every day. In a sideways attempt at battling this practice, Ford has announced a new service installed in most of its new cars and some of its old ones. This particular service will make it possible for the cars to actually read text messages to you, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road. More and more cars are coming up with new and interesting ways to make the car more than just a car and using Bluetooth has been one of the best ways to integrate new features. Of course when updating these cars, there are a couple of things to look out for, but for the most part this particular feature seems to be mostly positive.
Of course, there are those who might feel as though allowing your car to read you text messages is only going to encourage people to text and drive, but the Bluetooth connection seems to handle that as well. While the program will read the texts to you, it will also give you the ability to send one of a couple of pre-typed responses on your heads up display. This means you never need to look down at your phone just to find the right smiley face.
This particular program (part of the Sync package) is currently installed on all 2012 Ford models except for the Ranger. Today, Ford will also start offering this update to Sync vehicles from 2010 or later. Older Sync users will be able to download the update and save it on a USB drive, complete with install instructions. Sync has taken a great deal of work from Ford, making sure that the service will be something that will draw more Ford drivers to them. Having the ability to listen to and respond using a Bluetooth connection should also allow parents to gain a peace of mind when their children are out driving. While almost all newer cars have some sort of Bluetooth integration, text –to-speech is a relatively new feature which should grow in the coming years.
Edited by Juliana Kenny