University study shows SYNC helps reduce driver distraction

A new Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) study lends further evidence that voice-controlled Ford SYNC helps drivers minimize electronics-related visual distractions compared to manually operating hand-held cell phones and music.

In the new Ford-commissioned VTTI study, 21 drivers – age 19 to 51 who were familiar with SYNC – drove a Mercury Mariner while initiating a call, selecting music tracks and having phone conversations using the hands-free, voice controlled system.

For the purpose of comparison, the participants also completed the same tasks manually using their own mobile phones and portable music players in the same vehicle.

The study concluded that drivers were able to dial and complete other tasks more quickly and with less time eyes-off-road time when using SYNC. At the same time, drivers manually operating phones and digital music players steered more erratically and looked away from the roadway for longer periods of time.

When study participants initiated a call, hand-held operation required more than 2.5 times as many glances away from the road and more than 4 times longer in total eyes-off-road time than when drivers used SYNC.

For MP3 player song selection, hand-held operation required more than 6 times as many task-related glances than SYNC, and took more than 10 times longer in total eyes-off-road time.

Source: Ford.

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