Voice system for Ford supports regional accents

Ford has revealed that its new in-car voice-activated system can now understand strong regional accents.

So if you buy a new vehicle from Ford van and car dealers in Taunton in the future and have a strong Somerset accent, you can now be understood by the new in-car voice-activated system. Ford’s SYNC system allows drivers to use their voice to play music, make a call and set the navigation system to a destination.

People with Cockney, Liverpudlian and Scottish accents will also be understood. Long gone will be the days of people with strong regional accents having trouble being understood by voice-activated systems.

17 languages also supported

As well as regional accents being understood by Ford’s SYNC, the car manufacturer’s in-car system has also been developed to support 17 different languages. This includes English, Chinese, German and American. This update will also be available on around 12 million Ford vehicles and will identify local accents abroad, such as Bavarian German.

Ford has also revealed that the new Ford SYNC system now understands accents after the driver says a few words and will automatically adjust to the driver’s speech pattern, saving a record of this pattern once the car’s engine has been turned off.

In an article on BT, Ford Global Chief Engineer Christof Kellerwessel adds, “People rightly consider their accent a key to who they are as a person.

“Practically ensuring that you can easily communicate with your vehicle, whatever part of the country you are from, helps ensure a more convenient journey.”

In an article on the Express website, Dominic Watt, a senior lecturer at the Department of Language & Linguistic Science at the University of York says, “Given the high value that many consumers continue to attach to their local speech patterns, it's encouraging to see voice-activated technology that embraces accent diversity rather than seeking to dilute it.”

Watch a video from Ford about the technology below.

Image Credit: Karlis Dambrans (flickr.com)

This content was written by James Dart. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.