At the heart of SYNC is the speech engine, and Ford is working with speech technology leader Nuance to create and integrate a vast library of possible driver requests. This library will enable the SYNC speech engine to listen for and respond to more voice commands directly, recognize different words that mean the same thing (aliases), and integrate a vast number of point-of-interest (POI) names and business types into its navigation system.
“With this latest generation of SYNC, users can control the system without having to learn nearly as many commands or navigate as many menus,” said Brigitte Richardson, Ford global voice control technology and speech systems lead engineer.
“As we’ve gained processing power and learned more about how drivers use the system, we’ve been able to refine the interface. Customers can do more and say more from the top-level menu, helping them accomplish their tasks more quickly and efficiently.”
Examples of some improvements to SYNC powering MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles include:
– “Call John Smith” dials the phone number associated with John in a connected phone’s phonebook directly – the user isn’t required to say “Phone” first
– Navigation entries can be spoken as a single one-shot command; for example, “One American Road, Dearborn,” instead of requiring individual city, street and building number entries
– Within the climate menu, users can voice-request the same function using several different phrases, such as “Warmer,” “Increase temperature” or “Temperature up” – helping reduce the need for drivers to learn specific commands
– If an occupant’s USB-connected device, such as an MP3 player, has been named, users can simply say the device name, such as “John Smith’s iPod,” rather than the less personal “USB” command