Ford voice-control system in Europe

* Sync voice-control system to be available in Europe * Focus will be first European car with Sync next year * Three million cars in America already use the system...

Ford voice-control system in Europe

Fords Sync voice-control system, which has been available in America for four years, will start to appear on this side of the Atlantic next year.

The companys president and CEO, Alan Mulally, will make the announcement at the CeBIT technology show in Hannover, Germany, tomorrow.

Using the Sync system, drivers can control many of their vehicles functions, adjust settings and access information through voice control, steering wheel-mounted controls or a touch-screen on the centre console.

Sync can recognise 10,000 commands in 19 languages, and will allow voice operation of the climate control system, in-car entertainment and sat-nav, as well as devices linked to the car.

Using Microsoft technology, the system is designed to provide a simpler and safer way for drivers to work mobile devices and keep in touch from the car.

Sync can connect to mobile phones via Bluetooth, giving full hands-free operation. It can also read back text messages, and will even allow drivers to input a full address straight into the sat-nav without having to input the city, street and house number separately.

On top of that, the eight-inch touch-screen will display album artwork and track information for music being played through an MP3 player or the USB port, and the system can turn the car into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.

Lastly, the system can be upgraded in the future, either by installing new software at a Ford dealer or installing downloaded software using the USB port.

More than three million vehicles in America have been fitted with Sync since 2007, and the first Ford in Europe to feature the system will be the new Focus.