Automotive

Ford wants to put your home in the driving seat

Ford wants to put your home in...
Users would be able to control a vehicle from inside their home, and control smart home devices from inside their car
Users would be able to control a vehicle from inside their home, and control smart home devices from inside their car
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Users would be able to control a vehicle from inside their home, and control smart home devices from inside their car
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Users would be able to control a vehicle from inside their home, and control smart home devices from inside their car
Amazon's Alexa personal assistant would be available via Sync from inside the car
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Amazon's Alexa personal assistant would be available via Sync from inside the car
Users would be able to converse with Alexa via a steering wheel-mounted voice recognition button
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Users would be able to converse with Alexa via a steering wheel-mounted voice recognition button
When at home, users could control or check on aspects of their car using devices like the Amazon Echo
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When at home, users could control or check on aspects of their car using devices like the Amazon Echo

The car and home are typically separate domains, but Ford wants to change that by giving drivers the ability to control smart home devices from their car – and their car from their smart home devices. The carmaker is exploring Sync integration with devices like Amazon Echo and Wink.

Sync is Ford's in-car communications and infotainment system, which the carmaker has been developing under the connectivity strand of its Smart Mobility plan. Recent announcements, like the Sync Connect remote control and monitoring service and the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the system, contribute to Ford's aim to deliver the "next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and big data."

"Consumers increasingly want to stay connected to their homes while on the move," says Ford's executive director for Connected Vehicle and Services Don Butler. "Linking smart devices like Amazon Echo and Wink to vehicles via Sync would fulfill that desire, and allow consumers to connect with their vehicles even when they aren't behind the wheel."

Such integrations would allow users to do things like start, stop, lock and unlock their vehicle, as well as check its fuel range, from inside their home. This could be done by using voice commands with the Amazon Echo and its built-in personal assistant Alexa. Ford gives the following example of a potential interaction:

Owner: "Alexa, ask my Ford for my scheduled car start-time."

Alexa: "Here is the list of your current go times. You have a start-time set for Monday at 7 am, with a cabin temperature set to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Tuesday at 5.45 am, with a cabin temperature set to 75 degrees Fahrenheit."

Owner: "Alexa, ask my Ford for my car's driving range."

Alexa: "You have an available range of 56 miles."

Amazon's Alexa personal assistant would be available via Sync from inside the car
Amazon's Alexa personal assistant would be available via Sync from inside the car

Meanwhile, using Sync in the car, it would be possible to control lights, thermostats, security systems and other home devices. Users would be able to converse with Alexa via the communications and infotainment system and a steering wheel-mounted voice recognition button. Example of potential interactions include:

"Alexa, is my garage door closed?"

"Alexa, turn my porch lights on."

"Alexa, when is my next appointment?"

Ford says it is also working with smart home platform Wink, as a means of easily controlling smart home devices from the dashboard or using voice commands. This would allow user to, for example, have a button or voice command that opens the garage door, turns on the lights, and unlocks the front door.

Source: Ford

4 comments
gizmowiz
It won't be doing that with the car you have pictured here the Cmax which it is stopping production next year on the CMax hybrid and Energi.
Nik
'Sorry officer, I was checking my refrigerator contents, and didn't see the red light!'
Bob Flint
"Alexa am I really incompetent?" "I understand you feel useless, but I'll let you change my batteries, now I am taking you to the nearest Ford dealership there you can confirm your inadequacies while automatic payment will be rendered to your rear end..."
Don Duncan
I have never needed to know anything about my car while sitting in my house. I don't want to start it early, as driving slowly heats up the engine with less wear/tear. I can open the garage door upon entering and it will be open when I am seated and ready to leave. Upon returning I can open from a distance by pressing the opener, allowing me to enter without waiting. I have a programable thermostat so I don't worry about house temp. Nothing is left to worry about. Ford has "solved" a problem I don't have.