Ever felt unsafe while driving and controlling your phone, MP3 player, or other device? Ever wish you could easily talk to your car, which could talk to your device, and have it accomplish the task for you? Well, that could never happen.
The maker of your phone would have to have made your phone fully compatible with your car, the maker of your MP3 player would have had to done the same thing, and they’d have to all be able to work together. The odds that everything would work smoothly enough to find a song or artist quickly and easily in your large library or find the right person in your phonebok are pretty low.
Enter Microsoft. It would have been easy to create a system that accomplished those tasks, but only if you had a Zune or WindowsPhone. But, for Ford, that apparently wasn’t enough. So the SYNC handles any MP3 player or phone, indexes the contents, and plays based on your voice requests.
“Play Artist …”, and it does.
“Play Song ….”, and it does.
“Call Friend …”, and it does.
Got a new text message? It reads it out loud.
So how does it work with everything? That’s irrelevant. The lesson learned is that it’s possible, and that technologies to make cars safer to drive while using modern devices can be made to work perfectly. This technology shouldn’t be limited to one car manufacturer. Ford isn’t a high class car manufacturer, but yet they have this system working flawlessly. Can you imagine buying a new BMW or Mercedes, and not having something that’s been in Ford cars for the past 3 years? All car makers should pay to license that system, or make their own competitive system and incorporate improvements.
So I make the challenge to all car makers. License that technology, or make your own. Hard to improve a system like that, I know. But, for instance, make the system semi-portable so it can easily be added to used cars of the same make. If I can buy a system for the used car I own now, but it will only work with the same car manufacturer – you can bet I’ll be buying my next car, whether new or used, from that same manufacturer.
It’s products like this that are tangible differentiators between car makers, and make drivers safer.