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Ford drivers equipped with the automaker’s Sync AppLink connectivity system will be able to access and control their social media accounts whilst driving using a new iOS and Android app called Meople.Connector.
A number of social media sites will be included on the service, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Russian-language network VK.
With a recent Reuters Institute report suggesting those 44 years old or younger were now more likely to get their news online, including from social media, Ford said it hoped the app would appeal to drivers who use social media regularly, but have up to now either not done so while driving or illegally used their devices.
“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,” said Don Butler, executive director of connected vehicle and services at Ford.
After being alerted to an incoming message, the user can use voice commands to either read, respond to or skip the message. Should they choose to respond, they are able to use a number of pre-determined, customisable messages. Meople.Connector also gives drivers the ability to select how often updates are received, and broadcast their location if they feel the need.
Available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian, the app was developed by California-based developer Meople.net.
“Social media has triggered a game-changing communications shift, with more and more people using networks to communicate. But people can’t be on every site at once, especially when driving. Meople.Connector enables drivers to access and respond to social communications with the same ease as making phone calls and sending text messages,” said founder Dzmitry Markovich.
Ford is to demonstrate its suite of in-car apps at the November 2015 Web Summit in Dublin, where it will also be hosting a day-long challenge to design new applications for the AppLink service.
Some of the voice-controlled applications available currently over the Sync AppLink system include Adac, Audioteka, Aupeo, Cityseeker by Wcities, Cyclops, DetektorFM , Die Welt, Eventseeker by Wcities, Glympse, Goal Live Scores, Radioplayer, Roald Dahl Audiobooks, Soundtracker and Spotify.