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Ford SA rolls out SYNC3

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Ford South Africa is launching the SYNC3 infotainment and embedded navigation system for the first time on its local model line-up.

Released initially as part of specification upgrades for the Ford Ranger and Everest this month, this will be followed by the Ford Focus.

“We have had great customer interest in adding navigation to our innovative SYNC  technology, and are proud to now launch SYNC 3 with navigation,” says Tracey Delate, General Manager, Marketing – Sub-Saharan Africa Region. “Adding SYNC 3 with navigation allows us to introduce further practical features customers use every day, seamlessly integrated into the vehicle to provide both convenience and driving safety.”

“We will introduce SYNC 3 with navigation to a total of seven models over the next 14 months, which is a great benefit for our customers.”

Next-Level Connectivity

The latest-generation SYNC 3 infotainment system was launched late last year, delivering the next level of connectivity with an easy-to-use design, high-speed performance and enhanced voice recognition.

With the addition of SYNC 3 with navigation, the system boasts full feature embedded navigation, along with all the benefits of SYNC 3’s faster performance, brighter capacitive eight-inch colour touch screen that offers clearer icons and convenient multi-touch gestures (such as swipe, slide, scroll and pinch-to-zoom), plus voice recognition that uses simple, real-world voice commands.

SYNC 3 with navigation provides a full 3-D experience with elevated map view, enhanced full colour graphics and point of interest (POI) building images. Similar to searching on Google, destinations can be entered via the simple one-box search by typing the address, POI category, intersection, city, postal code or GPS coordinates. The search function is predictive, with results appearing as the information is typed. Voice commands can also be used to select a POI.

The system allows addresses or points of interest to be saved as favourites, which can be accessed through the Favourites icon on the touch screen, or the “Destination Favourites” voice command.

When driving, the navigation map displays a raft of information, including the next manoeuvre; current speed limit; current GPS speed; and a choice of estimated time of arrival; time to reach destination; or distance to destination. Enhanced junction view zooms in as the vehicle approaches a crossing, providing detailed lane visuals and guidance. Similarly, it zooms out when the next manoeuvre is more than 3km away. Highway services information is included, such as rest stops and garages, with the nearest filling stations automatically appearing on the map when the fuel is low.

Mapping for over 20 countries, plus Tracks4Africa

All SYNC 3 with navigation systems sold in South Africa have access to more than 20 country maps including: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. More than 3.6-million kilometres of road and 869 000 POIs are listed.

Another fantastic innovation is the inclusion of Tracks4Africa, allowing owners to take advantage of the unique mapping created from the collective travel experience of the Tracks4Africa travelling community. This includes gravel roads with hazard notifications, off-road tracks, four-wheel drive routes and rocky roads, as well as deep sand routes. Additionally, more than 129 000 POIs are included, encompassing diverse types of accommodation, services (fuel stops, tyre repair shops), leisure and recreational venues, as well as emergency points of interest (police, hospitals, embassies and clinics).

In order to ensure that customers have the best possible experience, all models equipped with SYNC 3 with navigation in South Africa receive free annual map updates for a period of five years. Additionally, text and voice guidance are available in a multitude of languages, comprising Afrikaans, Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Zulu.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Aside from the addition of navigation, SYNC 3 also offers the benefits of smartphone integration provided through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which transforms the phone’s connectivity with the car. Through Apple CarPlay, SYNC 3 can be used to access Siri, make calls, return missed calls and listen to voice mail, as well as send, read and reply to text messages. Songs, playlists and compatible apps like Apple Maps, can also be accessed.

Similar functionality is provided with Android Auto, with the Google platform used to interact with the phone, and access apps such as Google Maps. Licenses for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are still being finalised for official release in the collective Middle East and Africa region, and therefore will be introduced as they become available in market.

To keep the system up to date, periodic over-the-air software updates for SYNC 3 can be downloaded via Wi-Fi, once it is set up on a trusted wireless network.

Cars

Why sports cars make us feel good

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Forget romance, fine dining or an epic boxset binge – new preliminary research reveals that driving a sports car on a daily basis is among the best ways to boost your sense of wellbeing and emotional fulfilment.

The study measured “buzz moments” – peak thrills that play a vital role in our overall wellness – as volunteers cheered on their favourite football team, watched a gripping Game of Thrones episode, enjoyed a passionate kiss with a loved one or took an intense salsa dancing class. Only the occasional highs of riding a roller coaster ranked higher than the daily buzz of a commute in a sports car.

Working with neuroscientists and designers, Ford brought the research to life with the unique Ford Performance Buzz Car: a customised Ford Focus RS incorporating wearable and artificial intelligence technology to animate the driver’s emotions in real time across the car’s exterior. 

Watch the video here https://youtu.be/AFpt6jziFsU

“A roller coaster may be good for a quick thrill, but it’s not great for getting you to work every day,” said Dr Harry Witchel, Discipline Leader in Physiology. “This study shows how driving a performance car does much more than get you from A to B – it could be a valuable part of your daily wellbeing routine.”

Study participants who sat behind the wheel of a Ford Focus RS, Focus ST or Mustang experienced an average of 2.1 high-intensity buzz moments during a typical commute; this compared with an average of 3 buzz moments while riding on a roller coaster, 1.7 while on a shopping trip, 1.5 each while watching a Game of Thrones episode or a football match, and none at all while salsa dancing, fine dining or sharing a passionate kiss. 

For the research, Ford took one Focus RS and worked with Designworks to create the Buzz Car:

From concept, design and installation to software development and programming, the Buzz Car took 1,400 man-hours to create. Each “buzz moment” experienced by the driver – analysed using a real-time “emotional AI” system developed by leading empathic technology firm Sensum – produces a dazzling animation across almost 200,000 LED lights integrated into the car. The Buzz Car also features:

  • High-performance Zotac VR GO gaming PC
  • 110 x 500-lumen daylight-bright light strips
  • 82 display panels with 188,416 individually addressable LEDs

Driver state research

Researchers at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Aachen, Germany are already looking into how vehicles can better understand and respond to drivers’ emotions. As part of the EUfunded ADAS&ME project, Ford experts are investigating how in-car systems may one day be aware of our emotions – as well as levels of stress, distraction and fatigue – providing prompts and warnings, and could even take control of the car in emergency situations.

“We think driving should be an enjoyable, emotional experience,” said Dr Marcel Mathissen, research scientist at Ford of Europe. “The driver-state research Ford and its partners are undertaking is helping to lead us towards safer roads and – importantly – healthier driving.”

Activity Buzz Moments *
Roller Coaster 3
Driving 2.1
Shopping 1.7
Game of Thrones 1.5
Football Game 1.5
Kissing 0
Salsa Dancing 0
Dining 0

* Average number of high-intensity buzz moments per participant

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Car that sees round corners

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Jaguar Land Rover is leading a £4.7 million (approximately R79 million) project to develop self-driving cars that can ‘see’ at blind junctions and through obstacles.

Britain’s biggest carmaker is leading a project called AutopleX to combine connected, automated and live mapping tech so more information is provided earlier to the self-driving car. This enables automated cars to communicate with all road users and obstacles where there is no direct view, effectively helping them see, so they can safely merge lanes and negotiate complex roundabouts autonomously.

Chris Holmes, Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover said: “This project is crucial in order to bring self-driving cars to our customers in the near future. Together with our AutopleX partners, we will merge our connected and autonomous research to empower our self-driving vehicles to operate safely in the most challenging, real-world traffic situations. This project will ensure we deliver the most sophisticated and capable automated driving technology.”

Jaguar Land Rover is developing fully- and semi-automated vehicle technologies, offering customers a choice of an engaged or automated drive, while maintaining an enjoyable and safe driving experience. The company’s vision is to make the self-driving car viable in the widest range of real-life, on- and off-road driving environments and weather.

AutopleX will develop the technology through simulation and public road testing both on motorways and in urban environments in the West Midlands. Highways England, INRIX, Ricardo, Siemens, Transport for West Midlands and WMG at the University of Warwick join the AutopleX consortium, which was announced as part of Innovate UK’s third round of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Funding in March 2018.

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