Ford readies in-car Sync for 2012 release
MyKey to limit what the kids can do with your car, too
IFA 2011 Ford today re-iterated its plan to bring its voice-activated in-car navigation and entertainment system, Sync, to the UK next year.
Pitching the Microsoft Windows Embedded Automotive-powered kit to the tech industry at IFA 2011 in Berlin, Ford executives said Sync will debut in 2012 in the new Ford Focus.
Sync provides the usual phone-to-car linkage over Bluetooth, plus satnav and local services look-up tech, and control of key car systems.
It will also include what Ford calls "Emergency Assistance". In the event of a prang that has involved the deployment of the vehicles airbags, Emergency Assistance uses GPS data to work out where you are and voice-call the local emergency services to provide them with that information.
EA covers 30 countries, speaking in the language most appropriate to the location of the accident.
Ford also promised to bring MyKey, the young driver management system it has already debuted in the US, to Europe next year, initially in the new Fiesta.
MyKey allows parents to limit what their offspring can do with the family car, with the customisable settings embedded in the dedicated key Dad hands over to junior.
MyKey provides a degree of speed limitation - warnings can be set to annoy the driver at 70, 90 or 100kph (45, 55 and 65mph) - and can be set to disable the stereo if the youngster doesn't don a seatbelt. Other driver safety technologes can be mandated too.
Sync and MyKey will be offered as add-on packages to the basic vehicle, pricing TBD. Ford said Emergency Assist will be free service to all who buy the Sync package. ®
Of course kids wont work out how to override this
I suspect within weeks of it being available there will be numerous ways of circumnavigation it available on the usual dodgy sites.
That aside, I believe there to be a safety issue.
Many many times you need a bit of power to get out of a dangerous situation. If this is automatically limited then I can see lives being lost.
Of course it could be done sensibly (oh look, there's pigs flying) whereby 20 secs override is allowed before it kicks in etc. Trouble is, this sort of thing is usually programmed by idiots that have no clue about how the real world works, then taken up by parents stupid enough to believe everything the advertising hype says. It's the sort of thing my mother would have got for me 30 years ago and set the max speed anywhere to 27mph.
Personally I think there has to be a better way of addressing this. Something like a tacograph, in car cameras etc, or even limiting the size of engine, 0-60 speed of car etc below a certain number of driving years.
Or the ignition does not go on - or is that too sensible? (What with basically being the law of the land and all that...)
Integrate to the self-park system...
...and not allow the car to turn into Tesco/Homebase carparks after 10pm on the weekend ;-)