Next-gen Sync to include voice-to-text features

Ford is researching a voice-to-text system for use by motorists, after endorsing a proposed U.S. ban on texting while driving.

“A voice-recognition approach is better than bringing in a piece of paper and unfolding a map or looking down at a mobile device,” Jim Buczkowski, Ford’s director of electronics said Monday. “We’re looking at various combinations of accomplishing that task because it’s being asked for by consumers.”

Earlier this month, Ford became the first automaker to support the texting bill, introduced by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. The legislation would withhold 25 percent of U.S. highway aid to states that do not ban reading or writing text messages on hand-held devices while driving.

Ford made waves last year at the CES show when it introduced the popular Sync electronics package, which includes robust voice recognition technology.

Sync has been a hit with consumers, and a key driver of sales to drivers who hadn’t considered buying Ford products before. Roughly 70 percent of the vehicles Ford sells now include the $395 option, Buczkowski said.

Source: The Detroit News.

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