The Ford Mustang became a global car in 2015 when it went on sale in Europe, Asia, and other markets for the first time. To accommodate China, where the Mustang is the top-selling sports coupe, Ford has made it easier for drivers to input Chinese commands into the Sync infotainment system.
Previously, drivers had to type commands with phonetic spellings of Chinese words using the alphabet. Now, Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system recognizes Chinese characters written directly on the touchscreen. Drivers can use their finger to scribble in an address on the navigation screen, and the system quickly converts each character into a typeface.
Sync 3 recognizes more than 2,500 characters used in the Chinese language. The system also accommodates different writing styles, and the characters can be written at different angles. Also, Ford’s voice control system picks up on Mandarin Chinese spoken in 14 different regional accents.
Fisher Xu, Sync supervisor for Ford Asia Pacific, says the infotainment system for China isn’t simply an adaptation of global technology, but it has been specifically tailored to Chinese customers. “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. That’s probably different to other parts of the world, and SYNC 3 is smart enough to know this local preference, seamlessly,” he said in a recent release.
The Mustang isn’t the only vehicle to receive Chinese handwriting recognition technology. The feature is also available on the Focus, Edge, Kuga, Explorer, and Taurus Limited Edition vehicles sold in China.