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Issues with Sync and myFord Touch cost Ford dearly  (Source: Ford)
Ford wants Sync to eventually understand natural spoken commands and the intent of the user

Ford has found out the hard way over the recent months that one poorly received system in a car can create a massive backlash when it comes to consumer feedback in the important J.D. Power rankings for initial quality. Ford was sitting high in the fifth position last year. Fifth spot was the highest ranking for any non-luxury carmaker. This year Ford dropped like a rock to 23rd place.

J.D. Power says the blame lies partly with the new MyFord Touch system that attempted to take Sync one step further. The problem is that Sync originally had about 100 commands that it recognized and the driver could use. The new MyFord Touch system recognizes about 10,000 commands.

Ford and Nuance partnered for the voice recognition technology in Sync and the companies are working together to make the Sync and MyFord Touch system much easier to use by allowing it to recognize naturally spoken questions and the intent of the user.

This will let the driver ask a question to Sync any way they want and the system will do the legwork of turning the spoken query into a command that the system can execute. The goal is to get the system to the point where the driver can ask "Did the Tigers win last night" and the Sync system will understand the driver wants the score for the game and speak it back.

Ford lead voice control engineer Brigitte Richardson said, "It will recognize what you want or decipher the intent of what you want." She also said, "It will help people who can't determine the right command to use. It coaches you to get the information you need."

Ford has been working on this revamped version of Sync for over a year, however, the company points out that the system isn't ready for commercial use just yet.

Ford is also working on a side project looking at bringing voice-controlled fun to your drive. The project is called “Sync my Brain” and is a trivia game that uses voice commands. The game asks a question and offers multiple-choice answers to choose from. Ford's Nello Santori said, "It [Sync my Brain] is purely a research project. There is no production intent. We are looking at whether there is a place for something like this as we work to improve voice recognition."

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By BansheeX on 7/22/2011 10:33:42 AM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one who sees a trend of over-engineering in cars today? It introduces a lot of costs for little benefit, like putting a touchscreen LCD on a toaster when a simple knob will do. Do people ever think that something will be too distracting or cost way more to fix if it breaks or even be more likely to break because it's a more complex instrument? My mother has a 2000 Saab and the eletronic gimmickry is always flipping out on her and giving out wrong information. Dealer wants like $800 to replace the central processing box. Somehow I think it's all a conspiracy to get more money out of people by introducing new ways for your car to fail by making it dependent on overly complex, proprietary parts.

RE: Foppish
By Netjak on 7/22/2011 11:09:40 AM , Rating: 2
thats why I love apple. simple, ergonomic and beautiful. and - just works.

RE: Foppish
By Mortando on 7/22/2011 11:54:47 AM , Rating: 2
I remember many years ago when I first used a Mac there was some issue and I couldn't get my disc out of it because there was no eject button. One could argue that Apple was one of the pioneers of electronic gimmickry.

PS: I eventually got it out using a paperclip. :\

RE: Foppish
By ender707 on 7/23/2011 2:32:06 AM , Rating: 2
As long as you hold it "right".

RE: Foppish
By Netjak on 7/24/2011 9:07:59 AM , Rating: 2
but, look at ford :)

RE: Foppish
By tallcool1 on 7/22/2011 12:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
One of the things that bugs me about most new cars. The radio is no longer a standard din mount, and you are stuck with the factory radio, kills the aftermarket...

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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