Emergency Assistance upgrade for Focus ST
MELBOURNE – June 27, 2013: Ford’s SYNC-based Emergency Assistance system is being rolled out in the new Focus ST performance hatch.
“We’re excited to be able to offer Emergency Assistance in the Focus ST, as well as the all-new Ford Kuga, which has recently gone on sale,” Vice President Marketing, Sales and Service, Brad Brownell, said.
Importantly, the 704 customers who have already taken delivery of their Focus ST hatch since it went on sale in October 2012 will be able to have Emergency Assistance activated on their vehicles - at no cost - through participating Ford dealers.
The activation process takes around 30 minutes. Ford is notifying owners via mail to organise with their local dealer for a suitable time to carry out the activation. As part of this action, a replacement SYNC Owner’s manual, which includes the Emergency Assistance operation, will be installed in the vehicle’s owner’s manual.
After the successful launch of Emergency Assistance in the all-new Ford Kuga, Ford Australia engineers have spent several months testing the system in the Focus ST across the east coast of Australia.
“We’re really excited to announce that we’ve been able to make it available to our Focus ST customers earlier than we anticipated,” Brownell said.
“This technology is already proven in other markets and it will provide important peace of mind for our customers.”
A vehicle-based, no-cost, non-subscription call-for-help system, Emergency Assistance is already available in more than 5 million Ford vehicles globally.
The Emergency Assistance system is built on the SYNC connectivity platform, Ford’s customer-focused connectivity technology.
If a vehicle equipped with the activated system has been involved in an accident where the airbags have been deployed or the emergency fuel pump shut-off has been activated, the system will use an in-range paired mobile phone to deliver a critical voice message to emergency services operators, indicating that a vehicle has been involved in an accident and will open the line for hands-free communication.
SYNC is Ford’s voice-activated hands-free-in-car communications and entertainment system for mobile phones and digital media players that allows the driver to make and receive calls and play music from digital devices.
Australia was the first country in the Ford Asia Pacific region to announce Emergency Assistance.
“It is our goal to provide a smart in-car experience for our customers and have Ford take the lead in pursuing this new era of in-car connectivity in Australia,” Brownell said.
How it works
Should an accident occur in which an airbag deploys or the emergency fuel pump shutoff is activated, the feature uses SYNC hands-free phone capabilities to connect the driver directly with an emergency service through the paired phone, which must be within mobile phone reception range.
Before initiating the emergency call, the vehicle’s SYNC system will provide a 10-second window to allow the driver or passenger to decide whether to cancel the call. If not manually cancelled within the 10-second window, SYNC will place the emergency call.
If an accident occurs while a connected phone is being used for a normal call, the Emergency Assistance system can end that call and dial the emergency services. Also, incoming phone calls will not interrupt communication between vehicle occupants and emergency responders.
Should an occupant not be able to communicate with the operator, an introductory message tells the emergency operator that an accident has occurred and the system can provide GPS location digits in the voice message if needed.
The extent to which users have to maintain SYNC Emergency Assistance is limited to the one-time setup.
A prompt occurs the first time a phone is paired with the system that asks if the owner wants to set SYNC Emergency Assistance for all paired phones. Once turned on, it remains that way unless the customer decides to turn the feature off.