Ford has announced that the new Ford Focus for 2014 will be the first car in Europe to feature its advanced, voice-activated in-car system, SYNC 2.
It features a high-resolution colour touch screen and advanced voice control over the in-built apps, such as those for navigation, music and climate control, and better control over connected mobile phones.
The new Focus will also be the first on sale globally to include Ford's hands-free perpendicular parking technology. This helps drivers reverse into spaces side by side with other cars.
Ford SYNC 2 features a split-screen navigation system with detailed instructions, spoken street names, 3D highway junction graphics and landmark views, plus the guide and green guide from Michelin. As with the other in-car features, it can be used through one touch of the voice control button and understands simple commands, such as "I'm hungry". This example will bring up a list of restaurants in the immediate area.
Perpendicular parking is another new Ford technology that utilises two sensors located on the rear of the car. As well as helping a driver park hands-free into a conventional car park space, they help to alert them if vehicles are about to cross behind the Focus when reversing. A Park-Out Assist mode will also automate the steering wheel when exiting a parallel parking space.
Another new technology to make its way to Europe care of the new Focus is MyKey. It enables owners to program their keys to enforce restrictions on the car, such as top speed and maximum volume of the music system, and even disable the engine if a seatbelt is undone. Parents, for example, could then loan their car to a son or daughter without worrying that they might overstep the barriers.
Other features of the new Ford Focus include an improved adaptive front lighting system that adjusts the beam of the headlights to best suit the road ahead and enhanced steering and handling.
It will go on sale in Europe in the second half of 2014.