The next Ford won’t deploy a smoke screen, jam microwave signals , or deflect bullets, but it will get one step closer to the fantasy of every child of the ‘80s by recognizing – and responding to – relatively intuitive voice commands. Just like Michael Knight’s KITT 2000. Ford recently overhauled its intelligent Sync system, which controls everything from climate control to audio, to recognize up to 10,000 voice commands.
According to Brigitte Richardson, voice recognition engineer at Ford, the original version of Sync included about 100 voice commands, which typically meant new users have to memorize the exact terms the car recognized. With the latest update, the system has been updated to included 10,000 commands, adding a number of identical commands for the same function so that drivers can speak to the car in more natural language.
For instance, when it gets a little chilly, drivers can turn up the heat by saying “warmer,” “increase temp,” or “temp up.” Every category within the navigation system is also recognizable now, allowing drivers to verbally request something nearby – like gas – and have the system automatically search for it and set it as a destination.
Check out the video below for a demo of the new Sync features in action.