Ford’s Sync cars have been location-aware for awhile now, allowing the automated emergency calling service to give operators specific coordinates of accidents when they happen. The calls are made over a Bluetooth-paired phone, but the GPS coordinates are determined through the built-in Sync system. Cell tower positioning is also used as a back-up.
Cars with Sync have yet to launch in Europe, but in preparation, Ford has been figuring out how to provide language-appropriate automated emergency calls in the case of an accident. We got a demo last week, where the system simulated a car crash, determined the location, and after a brief wait to give the driver a chance to interrupt, launched into a call in French describing the accident. The total list of supported languages will include US, UK, and Australia variants of English, European and Canadian French, European and US Spanish, European and Brazilian Portuguese, German, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Turkish, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Taiwanese Mandarin.
In testing, Ford has chopped up parts of New York to be identified as different countries in Europe, so simulated crashes would generate French, Spanish, German, British, or other appropriate emergency calls. When Sync cars find their way over to Europe next year, Ford’s planning on having this emergency service work in over 30 countries. The nice thing about it is that the service is part and parcel with the car – no extra fees or anything, even if you’re buying the car second-hand. You can head over to Ford for more information on Sync 911 Assist.