Voice recognition for new Ford Ranger

The Bluetooth Voice Control system in higher-spec models of the large pickup allows drivers to use their mobile phone, sound system, satellite navigation system and climate control using voice commands.

The technology can be turned on using controls on the steering wheel, and allows drivers to ‘keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel’, according to Ford.

This, says Ford, will help businesses interact with customers while on the move when the Ranger is launched in Australia, the US and the UK.

"The Bluetooth&#174 Voice Control system sets Ranger apart from other competitors because it keeps drivers connected to their customers and business safely while enjoying the convenience of their iPod&#174 and automatic climate control systems while on the road – all with a voice command," said Con Papadomanolakis, manager, Electrical Integration, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa.

Equipment included in Ford’s latest pickup includes cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, auto defrosting, rear view camera and in-car display screen on models at the top of the range.

Revealed at the Geneva Motor Show this year, the Ford Ranger is the latest in Ford’s ‘global vehicle strategy’. Sharing a platform with the Ford Mondeo, the Ford Ranger will be almost identical in all markets it goes on sale.

The Blue Oval insists the new Ranger will be more premium than standard commercial vehicles because of the high level of equipment, including the unique voice activation software.

"Packed to the gills with smart technology and creature comforts previously seen only in premium passenger cars, the all-new Ranger offers a no-compromise choice for those looking for an all-in-one work and family vehicle," added Papadomanolakis.

The new Ford Ranger will go on sale in the UK towards the end of 2011 with a choice of two diesel engines; a 2.2-litre Duratorq 147bhp and a 2.3-litre 195bhp Duratorq unit.