Sunday, December 2, 2007

FORD ! car, auto parts !

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Dearborn automaker Ford is in the middle of its turnaround plan after it has seen its share in the United States auto market slide. Part of its turnaround plan is to develop green vehicles which consumers are asking for. Another step taken by Ford to attract more consumers is teaming up with Nuance Communications, one of the leaders in speech and imaging solutions. This partnership is geared towards making Ford vehicles safer and more user-friendly.

With Nuance's technology, consumers will be less at risk of being distracted when using Ford car's phone, as well as navigation and entertainment systems. With drivers always tinkering with different in-car systems, there is a bigger chance of being distracted and getting into an accident. With Nuance, this can be cut down to a minimum as the company provides text to speech technologies, and speech recognition.
According to the automaker, these technologies developed by Nuance will be available to European car buyers from December this year. The Ford C-MAX and the Ford Focus will become the first Ford vehicles to receive this cutting edge feature. The Ford Mondeo, Ford Galaxy, and the Ford S-Max will also be equipped with said feature.
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Joachim Creutzburg, the Marketing Director Original Equipment from Blaupunkt, a subsidiary of Bosch which helped Ford develop the Human Machine Interface said: "We recognize the importance of speech technology to make telematics, navigation and infotainment solutions safer and easier to control. Not only do we offer our automotive customers the most advanced speech enabled solutions, our portable navigation solutions in the aftermarket also allow destination entry and control by voice."

With the technology developed by Blaupunkt and powered by Nuance, consumers can simply say the address of their destination and the navigation system will readily read out all information needed by the driver. Other navigational system requires drivers to type in the address of their destination which can distract the driver while driving. Another new feature for Ford vehicles is the one push phone call. By pushing the "push to talk" button on the steering wheel and saying the number or the name of the phonebook entry, the system will dial the number.

Steve Chambers, the president for Mobile and Consumer Services Division at Nuance, said: "Nuance has a long history of working with Ford. Now with the advanced speech technology in the Blaupunkt navigation solution, we are able to offer drivers a safer alternative to the drivers' distraction created by the use of navigation systems in cars. With the voice user interface, powered by Nuance Automotive, drivers no longer need to take their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel to dial their phone, enter an address to the navigation system or control their audio system."

This feature in the future will not only be available for Ford vehicles as other automakers are sure to follow suit. Luxury vehicles like Acuras with Acura body parts can be expected to have this feature soon.

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