Ford Makes Sync Simpler with Live Operators: Test Pilot

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Ford began testing last week a new feature called Operator Assist that includes live operators to help drivers find a business or get directions.

Ford Tests Simpler Sync with Live OperatorsThe feature, to be tested through the summer, also provides a way to simplify later model Sync radios, which have been found to be too complex by some consumers.

The Operator Assist feature connects drivers with an operator if they have trouble getting directions electronically after three attempts. The operators are from MyAssist, a supplier in Stevens Point, Wis.

This fall, Ford will decide wither to roll out the service, which would be free for the first 3 years and would cost $60 a year, thereafter, reports the Detroit Free Press.

“Our customers asked for additional assistance in situations where their voice request was not understood,” said David Gersabeck, product manager for Sync Services.

Voice recognition was one of the features found lacking in new Fords in a recent J.D. Power and Associates study.
Ford has not offered live operator assistance up to this point, although it provides voice activated access to the cloud for information on traffic, news, weather, sports and other data.

Obviously, if Ford rolls out Operator Assist, it would compete more directly with OnStar, which has 6 million users.
Presently about 70 percent of the calls to Sync are seeking a business search or location, said AutoWeek.–Bill D.

Source: AutoWeek, Detroit Free Press

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  1. Truly dependable and affordable voice recognition in the vehicle is the “holy grail” of making in vehicle electronics more understandable, easier to use, and reduce driver distraction issues. He who conquers this hurdle first, wins.

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