Cars now come with all sorts of innovative technology. We have talking cars, connected cars and if Ford has its way, some years down the line, Ford will have cars that can even sense what we feel even though we might not say anything.
Almost 90 per cent of new cars are likely to have voice recognition capability by 2022. From here, it is no big transition to cars that could pick up tiny changes in facial expressions or voice inflections to make the driving experience easier for motorists and their passengers.
These cars could have advanced systems complete with in-car cameras and sophisticated microphones, which would have data on which songs we prefer to hear when we are stressed and when we would appreciate silence. The interior lighting in the vehicles could also be changed in accordance with the mood of the motorist.
Fatima Vital, senior director, Marketing Automotive, Nuance Communications, the company which helped Ford to develop voice recognition of the SYNC in-car connectivity system said that the company has made major progress on developing an empathetic car which might cheer you up by telling you a joke, remind you of the birthdays of loved ones, ensure that you stay alert on a long drive and even offer you advice when you need it.
It is expected that cloud-based voice control will be available on 75 per cent of new cars by 2022, and eventually future systems could turn into personal assistants that could organize your calendar and order takeout so that you have something to eat when you are held up in a traffic jam and are late getting home.
Ford is currently working on a research project with RWTH Aachen University as part of which multiple microphones are used to improve speech processing and minimize the effect of external noise and potential disruptions.
There is every possibility that in the next two years, voice control systems could remind us about ordering a cake for your spouse’s birthday, help us decide on our route home in view of the traffic situation on various alternative routes, or even remind us to stop and shop for groceries on our way home when we are running low on supplies.
In the future, drivers would be able to use gesture and eye control to answer calls, adjust the volume on the sound system and even set the navigation just by glancing at their destination on the map.
The car will be transformed from a means of getting from one place to another into a combination of a personal assistant, travel companion and a sympathetic ear. This might even reach the point where we forget we are talking to a machine
In the MENA market, SYNC 3 already offers unique features like giving motorists the option to control media and climate through their Bluetooth-connected phone, only through voice commands. For the first time in the region, SYNC 3 navigation offers Arabic as one of the language choices. Customers will also have the opportunity to update their maps, free of cost once a year for five years, right from the comfort of their own homes.
Navigation on the latest generation of Ford’s innovative communications and entertainment system also includes more than 3.5 million “points of interest”, and over 3.5 million kilometres of road, throughout the MENA region.
SYNC 3 Apple Car Play now incorporates Anghami streaming, which makes it possible to listen to your favorite singers ranging from Nancy Ajram to Ed Sheeran, through Ford’s in-car connectivity system. Anghami is the first legal music streaming platform and digital distribution company in the Arab region, providing unlimited Arabic and international music to stream and download for offline listening.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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