For all the technology inside cars, a lot of it isn’t exactly user friendly. Which is why it’s so exciting that Ford has announced it is rolling out its Ford Sync platform to Australian vehicles.

The platform, which was developed in conjunction with Microsoft, brings the key controls of a smartphone to the car’s in-dash display. Launching originally on the Ford Focus LW MkII this month, and being rolled out across the range in the coming years, the platform allows users to make and receive phone calls, send and receive messages and play music all by using voice commands.

To coincide with the local launch, Ford has developed an updates voice assist named Cathy, which better understands the Australian accent.

Despite being available for years in the US, the local version will lack some of the platform’s key features, like 911 assist, which calls emergency services automatically if the airbags go off in an accident. The local flavour will also lack the AppLink function, which allows control over dedicated smartphone apps like TuneIn radio and Pandora. Ford is working on bringing that function to market though

Although there is definitely a push for dashboards to be low-tech, Ford Sync is a promising look into the future of smart controls for cars.

Web: Ford