As the Ford Transit approaches 40 years of success, Ford Motor Company Limited has developed revolutionary voice control technology which means Transit can talk to its driver.
Engineers at Ford's global Transit engineering and technical development site in Essex have developed VOICE CON - a hands-free driving system that responds to verbal rather than physical input. The new driving technology means the driver can simply sit in the cab and use the following commands: "switch engine on/off, turn left, right, reverse" and "park." VOICE CON's verbal processor can warn the driver of imminent collision, traffic congestion or even breaches of driving etiquette such as tailgating.
VOICE CON can also turn on the heating, activate the cup holders, turn on the windscreen wipers or simply create conversation whilst static at traffic lights. The new technology requires some final adjustments. At the moment, it understands only Essex accents and so Ford has called on its engineers across the country to train VOICE CON to understand other dialects. VOICE CON will be available from 1 April 2006.Published 3 April 2005