back to article Ford punts prang-prompted auto cops-calling kit

Ford has announced that, come 2012, European drivers will be able to opt for its all-singing, all-dancing vehicle connectivity suite, Sync. Initially, the system, which sports a "class leading" 8in touchscreen UI, will be available in the new Ford Focus. Ford Sync With the help of a couple of USB ports, Bluetooth, an SD …


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  1. Bakunin

    Windows Embedded

    A Bluetooth/Wi-Fi enabled Windows Embedded system with control over many of the car's system? It's going to be a fun decade ahead.

    1. Tigra 07
      Thumb Up

      I'm all for this Bakunin, and here's why...

      Brings new meaning to all the old error messages:

      Blue Screen Of Death, with a real death.

      No driver found, because he went through the windshield.

      Buffer overflow, airbag deployed.

      Illegal operation, bad driving/ no tax disc.

      Windows has stopped responding, out of petrol.

      Windows must update, please restart, please pull over to the hard shoulder for your engine to die.

      Windows error reporting console, reporting error.

      Please do not use the vehicle while Windows spends 10 minutes sending this error report.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    You're kidding

    Windows embedded.


    I can see it now...

    Sccrreeeccchh....... **CRASH**

    Dee dip dee dah doo dahh..

    burp...burp....... burp...brup...*click*

    Harro? Wok This Way Chinese restaraunt here. What you want?

    *groans* - "This is an emergency .... *ugh* ... I need 9..9..9..

    Sowy. Our menu only go to 123. And we can't do emergency. Current wait time is half an hour.

    Tooo... late ....*slump*

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Software crash causes road traffic accident?

      You may notice that the Windows embedded is not responsible for the engine or any driving or safety systems.

      It just does all the fancy music/comms bells and whistles.

      1. hplasm

        But only

        through your phone's Zune interface.... or Android using the CLI

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Yes, Software crash causes road traffic accident!

        Not the software crash itself, it's when you have to take both hands off the wheel so you can press Ctrl+Alt+Del to reboot it.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Voice activated car controls?

    That'll provide hours of entertainment for the kiddies in the back seat...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      My existing focus

      Has the voice pack and they got bored of it real quick (thank god)

  4. Danny 14

    sounds good

    Ive actually been very happy with the connectivity in my smax. It syncs with the phone, I can control music if I want too (although I tend to use the USB most of the time). Voice activation works but is more of a gimmick really (phone . wife does work :) ). Creating playlists on the USB does work though and helps cut time if you think ahead.

    if this is rolled out across the range then more the better.

  5. JaitcH

    Would you trust any car running on Microsoft software?

    Presumably there is a screen somewhere so we can see the familiar 'blue screen'.

    And what hidden features are there sitting ready for activation by Plod?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Presumably so...

      ...because the blue screen of death is a regular sight on the railway network anouncement screens.

    2. Hellcat
      Gates Halo

      Yes, yes I would.

      I've had my Blue&me (Microsoft developed) equipped Fiat Bravo for over 3 years now. Works brilliantly with all the phones I've tried. SMS reader is a fantastic feature. I've ran an external 60GB drive full of MP3s from the USB port, and the voice comands work 99% the time.

      Blue&me also includes ecodrive which can track your driving style, and helps you to reduce your costs. Took my 45mpg to 60mpg just by driving a little more efficiently. Saves me a fortune and even got a trip to Bologna Motorshow out of it.

      The MS app works great, and in my experience is very reliable. Of course if Apple developed software for a car it would only run on 3% of roads that Apple have pre-approved. :)

    3. Hellcat
      Gates Halo

      Yes, yes I would.

      I've had a Blue&me (Microsoft developed) equipped Fiat Bravo for over 3 years now. During that time it has been very reliable.

      Of course you could pay more and get an Apple based car... but you'll only be able to use it on 3% of the worlds roads.

  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    Automated emergency calls.

    ".....or an emergency fuel pump shut-off...."

    Let's just hope that things have improved since the Sierra then. Every owner needed to know where the fuel cutoff reset button was as the sodding things used to trip pretty much when they felt like it. Accident, high wind, bumpy road, harsh language within 10 feet, just about anything really.

    The emergency services could be in for a busy time......

  7. Lionel Baden

    Why not something usefull

    Like a override for the police on your stereo stating


  8. Lottie

    Pushing ahead

    Wow, Ford really seem to be rolling out a metric fucktonne of tech of late. Most of it useful and interesting. I applaud them for that.

    My only concern is that in a car that's say 15 years old these days, the heater is a little knackered, the odd bulb inside has popped and whatnot. How will this fancy -but rather tempremental- stuff hold up over the next decade or so?

  9. Miek

    RE: Would you trust any car running on Microsoft software?

    Would you trust a Warship running Windows ?

    I treat anything running Windows with suspicion.

  10. Cheesy

    Restart should be easy

    No doubt restarting your Windows-based Sync system will follow the time honoured Microsoft tradition - hold the gearstick in neutral, and open the driver and passenger doors simultaneously while pressing the brake pedal.

  11. Is it me?

    I've used this, it's not bad

    Last year I had the North America Ford Edge (Kuga but better spec and value) as a hire car for a few weeks, equipped with Sync and no problems with it at all, did not have anything to do with the safety side of the vehicle. Just the entertainment, communications and Sat Nav. Have to say if this was the Ford of the future, I'll buy, quality, drive and usability was all spot on, way better than the Fords I looked at early last year, and bought VW instead.

    PS I'm UK based, and own a Z4 and a Golf, also an iPhone and iPod, in case you wondered about bias.

  12. Andy Barker

    Something missing here?

    "Microsoft Windows Embedded.... and your smartphone - assuming it’s running iOS, Android or BlackBerry."

    Why won't a MS Windows car integrate with a MS Windows smartphone?

    1. hplasm
      Gates Horns

      That would be an unusual amount

      of Miscrosoft cross-compatibility...

  13. Anonymous Coward


    "...the Microsoft Windows Embedded Automotive-based system aims to seamlessly integrate your car’s navigation and entertainment systems with your media and your smartphone - assuming it’s running iOS, Android or BlackBerry."

    So, the Windows 7 Embedded software is not compatible with Windows Mobile 7 phones from the same company?

    Nice one.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    You're meant to have your eyes on the road, not be playing bloody Farmville when you're driving.

    If you're not allowed to have a front-mounted TV distracting the driver, why the hell is an equally distracting visual UI supposed to be a good idea? Driving takes all your attention, even answering a call on a hands-free or carrying on a conversation with a passenger is significantly impairing; how the hell can it be a good idea for drivers to be browsing through their music collection and syncing their crackberries while they're driving? It seems like every other day there's a news story about some selfish asshole who's killed a bunch of people by driving straight into them without looking while they were busy sending texts or answering a call, the problem is bad enough already without this kind of insanity. This thing is a damn suicide machine, which would be fine - if it only affected the driver. But that's not how car crashes work.

  15. Getter lvl70 Druid

    Sync fscking rocks!

    We have it in the little wife's 2010 F150 - works as advertised except for one minor issue.

    The voice txting part of it ONLY WORKS WITH THE FREAKING PRECIOUS!

    Since we have Blackberries, that kinda sucks... hmm might have to run down to the stealership to see if any updates are out....

    Other than that, I'd like one for my GMC.... Onstar bites and GM supposedly is losing the spectrum in which Onstar operates sometime soonish.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I had no idea the European emergency number is 112.

    Glad to have learned something today.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      112 is the GSM emergency number

      It works in the UK, Australia and North America (as well as a few other countries, I believe) not just mainland Europe. Many (Most?) phones will let you dial it whilst they are keypad locked.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    It really is Windows

    I have a US edition 2010 Ford Focus with the built in Sync (text based screen). One day, while driving to my destination, sync locked up with an error message. In order to reset it, I had to pull off to the side of the road (a major roadway), turn off the car, and open a door. Since the car has a feature where the radio remains on until exit, the sync system would not reset until the door was opened.

  18. M7S

    "Auto Cops Calling Kit"

    What are the odds on the EU shortly mandating that it also does this when you're speeding?

  19. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Windows + voice

    >Call 999

    This requires administrator - do you want to restart with elevated permissions

    > croaks yes

    Restarting, say OK to continue

    > faintly ok

    Did the application restart correctly, say OK to continue

    > even fainter yes

    Do you wish to improve your Internet explorer browsing experience, say next or cancel

    > c a n c e l

    You will be prompted again in 5 mins

    New updates are available, do you wish to install now?

    > croak......

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