Yes, Virginia, Ford SYNC Will Understand Your Weird Accent
It’s not an uncommon question: if you’re a Brit driving in the States, a Scott driving in Mexico, or a Bostonian driving in any part of the world that doesn’t have an aversion to hard r sounds, would your in-vehicle voice-recognition software be able to determine what you’re saying accurately? According to Ford, Ford SYNC is able to distinguish a number of different accents across the UK and Europe, “from the distinctive Scouse made world-famous by the Beatles, to Michael Caine’s sing-song Cockney.” That’s all well and good, but would it have even begun to understand the late, great Yogi Berra?
“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,” said Christof Kellerwessel, global chief engineer, Electronic and Electrical Systems Engineering, Ford of Europe.
Ford SYNC was co-developed with the appropriately-named Nuance Communications, who ensured that drivers from all over the globe would be able to speak in their natural voices when making calls or playing music with voice-activated commands. Better yet, the system is built in such a way that it learns an accent after so many words. Which is especially neat if you’re Ozzy Osbourne, who nobody has been able to understand clearly since 1982.
So fear not, Ford drivers! Speak in funny accents to your hearts’ content!