The new Emergency Assistance technology of Ford has taken the top prize for the "Best Mobile Innovation for Automotive, Transport or Utilities" category at the 2012 Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona. This innovation, which is featured on the brand new B-MAX, assists occupants during a collision to make a 999 call to emergency services. Specifically, the technology alerts local emergency services operators, in the appropriate local language depending on the GPS coordinates of the vehicle, after a crash. This is the most advanced system of its type and creates a key component of the automaker's in-car voice-activated connectivity system SYNC, which makes its European launch in the B-MAX.
The prestigious technology award rounded off a historic Mobile World Congress visit for Ford, after B-MAX became the first automobile to launch at the 2012 Global Mobile Awards. Ford Motor Company executive chairman Bill Ford was the first vehicle industry leader to deliver a keynote speech.
Ford of Europe chairman and CEO Stephen Odell related that the automaker is "delighted" to see the potentially life-saving benefits of SYNC with Emergency Assistance being honored by international communications technology experts. He added that the Emergency Assistance maximizes the capability of mobile communications technology to provide an "extremely" valuable service to the automaker's customers, free-of charge for their vehicle's lifetime.
The emergency fuel pump shut-off of the vehicle or the activation of an airbag prompts the automobile to commence an emergency call through the Bluetooth-connected mobile phone of the occupant. In addition, the system determines the co-ordinates of the accident location with the on-board GPS unit, mobile network and map information, saving vital seconds by making a call directly to emergency service operators instead of initially routing through a third party call center.
During the course of developing the Emergency Assistance feature, the automaker worked together with the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) to gain valuable insights into the system design. The EENA endeavors to make sure that a high level of response to 999 emergency number calls across Europe is always achieved.