Commentary

Ford Lets You Tweet From Behind The Wheel

Did you ever have a really funny idea for a tweet while you were driving, but then decided it might not be funny enough to justify risking death or grievous injury to yourself and other drivers? But then later you couldn’t remember it -- or even worse, it didn’t seem as funny? Sure, we all have.

But now this excruciating dilemma is a thing of the past, thanks to Ford’s new app integration with Meople.Connector, which gives drivers the ability to post to social media sites including Twitter and LinkedIn via Ford’s Sync AppLink, according to DigitalTrends, which first reported the news.

Meople.Connector, an independent app available for iOS and Android, works with Ford’s Sync system to alert drivers when they receive a message, and then allows them to respond with voice commands, including speech-to-text dictation similar to that used for sending text messages behind the wheel. Or they can opt to send one of a number of pre-set customized messages. The app also allows drivers to set the frequency of social media updates, skip updates, and share their location, if they wish.

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Ford executive director of connected vehicle services Don Butler explained: ““For many people today, social media is fundamental to staying up-to-date and informed. By adding further news and personal communications, we are helping to ensure customers can stay seamlessly connected throughout their day in a safe and stress-free way.”

The new capability adds to Ford’s previous social media integrations, which allowed drivers to hear tweets but not respond to them by speaking.

While carmakers are rushing to include hands-free interaction as a safety measure, it’s worth noting that studies have shown hands-free technology is still distracting to drivers behind the wheel.

2 comments about "Ford Lets You Tweet From Behind The Wheel".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, October 30, 2015 at 10:04 p.m.

    Brain activity research shows that any interactive communication distracts drivers. Eating, listening to the radio, reading billboards, and even applying makeup are minor distractions compared to holding a real-time conversation, hands-free or not. Even talking to others inside the car can take your concentration off the road. My intuition tells me that hands-free short messages are the least interactive because there's less pressure to respond in synchronous time, but I'm unaware of any studies on it.

  2. Albert Maruggi from Give It A Think, October 31, 2015 at 6:42 a.m.

    Do you drive?  Do you have teenagers that drive?  When you drive do you look around at other drivers and  see them interacting with their devices?  Ok maybe you will say this will prevent all those drivers from looking down at those devices and occupying one of their hands.  

    We are society of hypocrites, we worry about distracted driving yet accept all kinds of distractions around us, including jumbotron eletronic billboards with brite color saturated lights to do what?  Get our attention.   

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