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MWC: Ford adds Sync 2 voice activation and 8in touchscreen to Focus

Hands-free reverse parking technology also added
Wed Feb 26 2014, 12:05

BARCELONA: FORD HAS UNVEILED an updated Focus car at Mobile World Congress (MWC) as the first European vehicle with its voice-activated in-car connectivity system Sync 2.

Ford's updated Sync 2 in-car connectivity system features an 8in colour touchscreen and better voice control than its predecessor, which Ford said will give drivers easier access to audio, navigation and climate controls as well as compatible mobile phones.

Ford Focus Sync 2 launch

The Sync 2 navigation system also offers a split-screen map display with detailed intersections, spoken street names, 3D highway junctions and landmark views.

In 2012, Ford announced that it would bring its in-car voice-recognition technology Sync to the UK in its Ford Focus electric car.

Ford said that Sync 2 is generally more intuitive, as it lets drivers issue simpler "one-shot" navigation destinations. For example, pushing the voice control button and saying "I'm hungry" will bring up a list of local restaurants.

"[The] new Focus will enable people to seamlessly switch between touchscreen and voice commands, and also to control more in-car systems than ever before, while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel," said Ford Europe president Stephen Odell.

Ford Focus Sync 2 MWC

As well as being the first car in the EU to feature Sync 2, Ford's new Focus is also the first to offer "Perpendicular Parking", which refers to a new hands-free parking technology that helps drivers reverse into spaces alongside other cars.

"The current Focus introduced parallel parking aid Active Park Assist that, at the push of a button, uses ultrasonic sensors to locate parking spaces and steer the vehicle while the driver controls the accelerator and brake," the company explained. "The addition of two new sensors to the rear of the new Focus enables Perpendicular Parking to operate in the same way."

The added sensors also mean that the Focus can help drivers as they manoeuvre out of parking spaces, with technologies such as Cross Traffic Alert, which warns drivers reversing out of a parking space about vehicles that might soon be crossing behind them, and Park-Out Assist, which helps drivers as they exit a parallel parking space.

The new Ford Focus with Sync 2 will go on sale in Europe at some point in the second half of the year. The video below gives you a better idea of what it looks like. µ


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