New SYNC with MyFord Touch now recognizing 10,000 first-level commands

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Later this year, MyFord Touch will start selling on the 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX. MyFord Touch is Ford's second-generation Sync driver connectivity technology that has been designed to be more user-friendly.

Sync is the result of Ford's first stab at a hands-free connectivity technology. But there were two major issues blocking its success: its multi-level commands and a limited vocabulary.

Brigitte Richardson, lead engineer of Ford's voice control and speech commands technology, said that for this latest generation of Sync, the system can be controlled without needing to learn that many commands or navigate as many menus.

She added that as Ford was able to refine the interface because it has gained processing power and has gotten more knowledge on how the system is used by drivers.

She claims that the MyFord Touch system enables customers to complete their tasks more quickly and efficiently" since the top-level menu offers more capabilities. In addition, MyFord Touch system now recognizes 10,000 words, which is more than 100 times as many as the first-generation Sync. With this enhanced vocabulary, customers will find it more natural to command the system.

Since multi-level commands have been eliminated, it's now easier for drivers and passengers to get access to more features as they won´t have to first enter a submenu. But even with these advances, MyFord Touch still isn't quite as sophisticated as Kia's UVO, which can query all connected devices to find a certain song.

MyFord Touch is also now better at understanding inputs due to Ford's collaboration with Nuance, a leader in speech recognition technology.

With Nuance's Unsupervised Speaker Adaption technology into Sync, the system can recognize a user's voice, inflection, and dialect within three commands. A profile is then created for that user. Multiple profiles can be made. Ford and Nuance claim that this greater adaptability improves command recognition by 50%.

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