2011 Ford SYNC Limits On-Board Driving Distractions

Posted: July 9, 2010

As smartphones and vehicle infotainment systems gain popularity, drivers are becoming increasingly distracted behind the wheel. Some states have already banned the use of handheld devices while driving, but other in-cabin features -- like the ability to check weather, traffic and even stock reports -- remain.

Ford, however, is taking a stand against distracted driving. For 2011, its highly-acclaimed SYNC infotainment system will feature an improved text message read-back feature -- which should make it easier for drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

Even better, the system will feature a “Do Not Disturb” button that lets drivers lock out distracting features while their vehicles are in motion. Automobile Magazine explains: “The function automatically blocks incoming text messages and phone calls from the paired Bluetooth phone, but allows drivers to make voice-activated, outgoing phone calls and still connect to emergency services using Sync’s updated 911 Assist.”

That’s not all. “In addition, Ford's system will prevent drivers from typing an address into the navigation system manually, and other actions that require typing or scrolling through lists will be simplified,” reports Family Car Guide.

Not surprisingly, Ford supports banning hand-held texting while driving. A Ford press release on the issue quotes Chief Engineer John Schneider:  “Text messaging has become the default communications method for consumers of all ages. The power of SYNC voice control combined with Ford’s latest connectivity improvements will reduce the temptation to pick up the phone and take your eyes off the road, providing a safer solution for the use of mobile devices in the car.”

According to the Detroit News, “The move goes beyond the voluntarily guidelines agreed to by automakers amid growing concerns about the dangers of texting and driving.”

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