Ford today re-iterated its plan to bring its voice-activated in-car navigation and entertainment system, Sync, to the UK next year. Pitching the Microsoft Windows Embedded Automotive-powered kit to the tech industry at IFA 2011 in Berlin, Ford executives said Sync will debut in 2012 in the new Ford Focus. Sync provides the …
Integrate to the self-park system...
...and not allow the car to turn into Tesco/Homebase carparks after 10pm on the weekend ;-)
I was expecting...
...a cool biometric activated key, it wouldn't have to be any bigger than most of the new keys these days, could probably be smaller in fact. You place your thumb on the fob as you insert the key and the car registers who you are and automatically adjusts all the relevant settings from speed limits to radio preferences to seat and mirror angles and driving times too I suppose (if you have to be an utter killjoy). Another idea I'd like is to be able to set the onboard satnav/computer to limit the distance from 'Home' the car can travel, i.e. dad enters his PIN and sets the home postcode as 'Home', he sets his offsprings keyfob/biometric account so that when the car travels more than 15/20/25 etc miles from home it automatically texts/emails/voice calls dad. Again, kinda killjoy-ish I suppose, geez, I must be getting old...
This brings to mind an item from the current risks list:
... The Airbus A330, like other new-generation airliners, is controlled by a
computer, in theory a sort of super-pilot, never tired or distracted, with
lightning-fast reflexes and an encyclopedic knowledge of how best to
fly. The human pilot still uses the stick and throttles in the traditional
way, but commands go to the computer, which in turn executes them. If the
pilot tells the airplane to bank too steeply or fly too slowly or too fast,
the computer will not comply. Its "laws" are intended to protect against
pilot errors that, far more often than mechanical failures, have led to
The transition from mechanical to digital flight controls has brought about
a shift in the way pilots are trained. Basic flying skills - the ability,
for instance, to recover from unusual situations or to intuitively sense
what an airplane is doing or is about to do - receive less and less
emphasis. Testable knowledge of airplane systems and standardized flight
procedures takes precedence. ... But we are still in transition, and Flight
447 fell victim to a philosophical inconsistency. The computer was supposed
to protect the pilots from themselves, but in a pinch it threw up its hands
and abruptly turned over control to a startled and unprepared human crew.
Or the ignition does not go on - or is that too sensible? (What with basically being the law of the land and all that...)
"...can be set to disable the stereo if the youngster doesn't don a seatbelt..."
Wouldn't it, in fact, be a lot safer if the car just wouldn't move if the driver isn't wearing a seatbelt?
No seat belt
It is actually legal to remove your seat belt while carrying out a manoeuvre that involves reversing. But in this case, you only need first and reverse gears.
Trouble is, reverse on a Ford is as far away from first as it could possibly be; so simply restricting the movement of the gear lever isn't an option here.
I'd like to see...
They should add a feature where if it detects you texting while at the wheel, it takes control, pulls over safely, opens the door, pitches you out onto the road, then deploys a telescopic foot to kick you up the arse a few times.
I once thought this Sync thing was a terrible idea. "Microsoft software in a car, OMG no!" Got to play with it in a rented 2010 Focus we had for a couple of weeks after one of our cars got totaled and it turns out it's really rather good.
Of course kids wont work out how to override this
I suspect within weeks of it being available there will be numerous ways of circumnavigation it available on the usual dodgy sites.
That aside, I believe there to be a safety issue.
Many many times you need a bit of power to get out of a dangerous situation. If this is automatically limited then I can see lives being lost.
Of course it could be done sensibly (oh look, there's pigs flying) whereby 20 secs override is allowed before it kicks in etc. Trouble is, this sort of thing is usually programmed by idiots that have no clue about how the real world works, then taken up by parents stupid enough to believe everything the advertising hype says. It's the sort of thing my mother would have got for me 30 years ago and set the max speed anywhere to 27mph.
Personally I think there has to be a better way of addressing this. Something like a tacograph, in car cameras etc, or even limiting the size of engine, 0-60 speed of car etc below a certain number of driving years.
I can picture...
Big Brother smiling and rubbing his hands together at the mere thought of all the revenue they will start extracting from US drivers;
"Dear Mr. Simpson:
Our data indicates on May 14th you drove from Chicago to St. Louis in 5 hours and 42 minutes.
However, you traveled on Interstate 57, which has a posted speed limit of 55 mph. Since you exceeded this speed at the points indicated on the attached citation/map, please remit the sum of $739.47 and we will enable your automobile for service.
If there anything else we can do to you, please let us know by speaking into the microphone of your Powder Blue 2012 Ford Simpostar.
Have a nice day."
Think this is fantasy? Think again.
Pennsylvannia does something like this
Or at least they did. On the toll road, if the time you took between entering and exiting the interstate gave you an average speed higher than the limit, you got a speeding ticket. I found this out when there were a bunch of cars sitting by the side of the highway right before the Breezewood/I-70 exit and asked the Pennsylvania native driving the car (at 53MPH) what was going on.
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