Since its launch in 2015, the Mustang has truly become a global success story. It is well on its way to becoming the world’s most popular sports car thanks to sales success in places like China, where it is the most popular sports car in the land. So far 10,506 Mustangs have been sold and 3,600 more shipped there this year. With that kind of growth, it was about time for the pony car to learn the local language.
Responding to customer demand engineers at Ford’s Research and Engineering Center in Nanjing taught the SYNC 3 system in the latest Mustang to understand traditional Chinese handwriting to accompany its recognition of Mandarin Chinese voice commands.
The Chinese version of SYNC 3 is far more than just a translation of a global technology. —Fisher Xu, Ford
“The Chinese version of SYNC 3 is far more than just a translation of a global technology,” Fisher Xu, SYNC Supervisor for Ford Asia Pacific, said. “It’s really been localized to respond to a Chinese driver’s needs with a local point of view, from the voice commands that understand our accents and our habits, to the way we structure our statements.”
The multimodal handwriting feature in Ford SYNC reads each piece of the character by tracing it and converting it into type. Using a library of 2,500 common characters and predictive algorithms SYNC 3 hastens the recognition process.
“For instance, when you talk to a friend in China and they ask where you are, they’re really looking for a building name or a point of interest, not a street number,” Fisher added.“That’s probably different to other parts of the world, and SYNC 3 is smart enough to know this local preference, seamlessly.”
Along with its presence in the Mustang, this functionality is also available on several other Fords sold in China, including the Edge, Focus, Kuga, Explorer and Taurus.