Ford wants to make the distracting habit of reading text messages on a mobile phone while driving a thing of the past by adding to its Sync in-car connectivity system a text-to-speech feature.
The text-to-speech feature works by having the Sync system read aloud the incoming messages from Bluetooth-connected compatible smartphones. It will also allow the driver to send a text reply by voice from a predetermined list of responses like "I love you," "Send directions" and "See you in 10min." According to Ford, this will help keep the motorists focused on driving while staying in touch with his or her contact.
"Smartphones have quickly become an essential part of many people's day," said Christof Kellerwessel, chief engineer of Ford Europe's electronic and electrical systems engineering department. "However, text messages can be a distraction for drivers, so the benefit of a system that can read messages aloud from compatible smartphones is obvious."
Ford will debut its Sync with the text-to-speech feature on the all-new B-Max in Europe later this year before eventually rolling it out to other vehicles in the American carmaker's lineup in the continent.
With a reported 86 million mobile phone users in the Philippines as of 2010 and with an estimated 1.6 billion text messages sent every day, we can only pray that the same technology will reach Ford Philippines' product lineup soon.