The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Emergency Assistance A Ford First For Australia In All-New Ford Kuga

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

SYDNEY – April 16, 2013: The all-new Ford Kuga will be the only compact SUV in Australia to offer a potentially life-saving Emergency Assistance system when it goes on sale from May 1.

Emergency Assistance is a vehicle-based, no-cost, non-subscription call-for-help system that is already available in more than 5 million Ford vehicles globally, providing owners peace of mind when travelling.

“We’re really excited about this technology as it provides real peace of mind for our customers,” according to Ford Australia President and CEO, Bob Graziano. Emergency Assistance works by delivering a critical voice message directly to 000 operators, indicating that a vehicle has been involved in an accident in which the airbags have been deployed and opens the line for hands-free communication.

“Ford’s Emergency Assistance system has already proved itself as a life-saver in other parts of the world and we expect our customers here to appreciate this level of reassuring in-car connectivity,” Graziano said.

The Emergency Assistance system was built on SYNC, Ford’s customer-focused connectivity technology. 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.

“Since 911 Assist (SYNC’s North American version of Emergency Assistance) was launched in 2008, we have heard many remarkable stories about how the technology made a difference for people in their time of need,” Graziano said.

“Australians love their SUVs and recreation activities so we think SYNC Emergency Assistance will resonate particularly well with our Ford Kuga customers.”

Ford’s Director Europe and Asia Pacific, Connect Services, Ed Pleet, said Australia was the first country in the Ford Asia-Pacific region to announce Emergency Assistance.

“We are constantly working on new innovations to provide Australian customers with the latest smart features and Emergency Assistance certainly raises the bar on in-car technology and connectivity in Australia,” he said.

How it works
Emergency Assistance delivers a critical voice message directly to 000 operators, indicating that a vehicle has been involved in an accident in which the vehicle’s airbags have been deployed and opens the line for hands-free communication.

The Ford SYNC Emergency Assistance system uses the driver’s own mobile phone via Bluetooth and runs in the background once the phone is properly paired with SYNC and is within mobile phone range.

After the one-time setup, the phone connects with SYNC every time the driver enters the vehicle with his or her phone and the phone is turned on and Bluetooth®* is activated.

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 a 000 operator through the paired phone.

Before initiating the 000 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 000 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 the 000 operator.

Once the call is established, occupants can leave the vehicle and stay connected with the 000 operator by taking the phone with them as they move away.

Should an occupant not be able to communicate with the 000 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. There are no additional costs or subscriptions associated with the service.

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.