Car and Driver: 2009 Ford Focus SES Sedan - Short Take Road Test - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum > Ford Focus Discussions > General Car Chat Lounge

General Car Chat Lounge Discussion Forum relating to nonspecific Ford Focus models, car purchasing, auto industry news and any car talk.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
FocusFest FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-16-2009, 10:56 AM   #1
Tom
FF Founder
 
Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Fan#: 2
Location: Austin, TX
What I Drive: 2005 Saleen ZX3 SES Turbo

Posts: 20,105
Points 87,370, Level 100
Points: 87,370, Level: 100 Points: 87,370, Level: 100 Points: 87,370, Level: 100
Level Up 0% Completed
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Forum Activity 1%
Activity: 1% Activity: 1% Activity: 1%
FF Reputation: 60 Tom Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (7)
Car and Driver: 2009 Ford Focus SES Sedan - Short Take Road Test

Finally, a car that inspires us to really get to know Sync.

BY JARED GALL, PHOTOGRAPHY BY JORDAN BROWN AND PATRICK M. HOEY
June 2009




Never ask a gas-station attendant where to get a good steak. Many moons ago, a pair of desperate staffers did just that. The attendant responded with “Chili’s is good for steaks,” and proceeded to give directions that included pointing left when she said “turn right.” When asked what other options might exist, she looked straight at the staffers and said—with identical intonation—“Chili’s is good for steaks.” Dejected, the duo went to Chili’s and ordered burgers.

We were reminded of this story when we drove the 2009 Ford Focus SES with Sync, the Microsoft-developed, voice-activated vehicle-and-audio interface. Sync’s ability to understand human speech is impressive—in a prior test, it successfully responded to a request to call our former editor-in-chief, Csaba Csere, a name that has confounded subscribers and auto executives for decades. But other staffers have had mixed results, so we wondered: how would it recognize our voices?

A Cast of Characters

We started out with a good Yoda impersonation. Although the Jedi Master’s irregular weaving of words might confound Sync—which responds only to commands following the proper form, such as “play artist Golden Earring,” or “play track My Heart Will Go On” (you don’t have to add the parenthetical “Love Theme from Titanic”)—Sync had no trouble understanding Yoda’s requests. Be warned, if you ask for the Top Gun anthem by artist, you’ll have to ask Sync to “play artist Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens.” Asking for just Harold Faltermeyer won’t get you anywhere.

Sync also understood our best impressions of two of our favorite Jerky Boys characters, Sol Rosenberg and Tarbash the Egyptian Magician, as well as a Brooklyn accent as demonstrated by Jocko Johnson. It struggled with your basic talking-horse voice—a combination of whinnying and talking—recognizing only about 70 percent of the commands. Will Ferrell’s Jacob Silj, the voice-immodulated Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” shouter, on the other hand, had a 100-percent success rate.

Sync’s standard practice when uncertain about a request is to present a menu of options. When the horse asked for The Who, Sync offered the following options: Gary Allan, Phil Collins, and Van Halen. None of those sound like “The Who” to us, but maybe they do to Bill Gates.

Shrieking, Screaming, and Being Hacked with a Machete. Plus, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Silj’s voice immodulation inspired a trio of different screams. We started with a basic scream, which Sync understood just fine. But when we puffed up for a window-bulging bellow, the system ignored us. Then we commanded “Play artist Talking Heads” in a crying/screaming help-I’m-being-attacked-by-a-psycho-killer horror-movie shriek, which Sync understood. So if the Scream killer ever appears in the back seat of your Focus, you’ll be able to order Sync to call 911 while keeping both hands safely on the wheel. Incidentally, Sync works perfectly at 75 mph with all windows down in dense traffic.

A thorough test of any voice-activated system would be un-American without gauging its sensitivity to the range of international accents possessed by American drivers. Sync understood our best attempt at a Chinese accent, as well as butch German caricature, but only begrudgingly accepted orders from an effete German. French was flat-out denied, as was a squeaky English accent. A deeper, Churchillian cadence had better success, perhaps because Winston’s eloquence makes him universally recognizable.

Hey, I Know That Guy

From there, we moved into American social stereotypes, where we had 100 percent success with hillbilly, high-school jock and nerd, that annoying woman from your office, and voice-cracking teen. Sync’s soothing female persona also understood a male robot voice and our best impression of herself. Understanding herself gives Sync a distinct advantage over many in our office, who will quite possibly never figure themselves out.

So, how else can you have fun in a Focus? Chili’s is good for steaks.

Text Source: Car and Driver


Tom is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-16-2009, 02:26 PM   #2
love my red focus
 
lightning2nd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Fan#: 54938
Location: Sioux Falls,, SD
What I Drive: 2006 Red ZX4 SES w/SAP

Posts: 1,793
Points 1,324, Level 20
Points: 1,324, Level: 20 Points: 1,324, Level: 20 Points: 1,324, Level: 20
Level Up 24% Completed
Level up: 24% Level up: 24% Level up: 24%
Forum Activity 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
FF Reputation: 3 lightning2nd Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
nice
__________________
Built on 1-18-06
06' Red ZX4 SES 2.0L Duratec/ with S.A.P.
member of Focus Nation / Sedan Revolution#105 / Sap Crew#23 / Team Duratec#189 / Midwest Crew#31
lightning2nd is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-16-2009, 03:42 PM   #3
Focus Fanatic
 
ST 2K5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Fan#: 44631
Location: Manchester, NH
What I Drive: 2015 Oxford White Ford Focus ST

Posts: 1,596
Points 11,232, Level 69
Points: 11,232, Level: 69 Points: 11,232, Level: 69 Points: 11,232, Level: 69
Level Up 96% Completed
Level up: 96% Level up: 96% Level up: 96%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 6 ST 2K5 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (22)
" Finally, a car that inspires us to really get to know Sync" LOL what an @sshole, What kinda horse $hit article is that? He doesn't even talk about the Focus, all he mentions is sync. I actually drove one the other day I didn't think they were bad at all...The Interior was a big upgrade and also very quiet. I drove an automatic it shift very smoothly.
ST 2K5 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-16-2009, 03:57 PM   #4
Focus Enthusiast
 
BlueWave's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Fan#: 64951
Location: Winnetka, CA
What I Drive: 2009 Dark Blue, Focus SES

Posts: 100
FF Reputation: 1 BlueWave Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ST 2K5 View Post
" Finally, a car that inspires us to really get to know Sync" LOL what an @sshole, What kinda horse $hit article is that? He doesn't even talk about the Focus, all he mentions is sync. I actually drove one the other day I didn't think they were bad at all...The Interior was a big upgrade and also very quiet. I drove an automatic it shift very smoothly.

Yeah. We discussed this review in another thread last week.

I don't know about you guys, but reading bad reviews about the U.S. Focus is getting old. Sure, we'd love to have the Euro Focus here, but I have to say, I've owned my 09 SES for six weeks now and it's every bit as nice and well handling as my Mazda3i was.
BlueWave is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-16-2009, 04:23 PM   #5
Focus Fanatic
 
ST 2K5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Fan#: 44631
Location: Manchester, NH
What I Drive: 2015 Oxford White Ford Focus ST

Posts: 1,596
Points 11,232, Level 69
Points: 11,232, Level: 69 Points: 11,232, Level: 69 Points: 11,232, Level: 69
Level Up 96% Completed
Level up: 96% Level up: 96% Level up: 96%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 6 ST 2K5 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (22)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWave View Post
Yeah. We discussed this review in another thread last week.

I don't know about you guys, but reading bad reviews about the U.S. Focus is getting old. Sure, we'd love to have the Euro Focus here, but I have to say, I've owned my 09 SES for six weeks now and it's every bit as nice and well handling as my Mazda3i was.
Before I bought my ST there was mixed reviews, so I went and drove one for myself and boy were they wrong. It felt like my car was on rails, and the rest is history almost 5 years later I love my car just as much as the first day I drove her.
ST 2K5 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Ultimate 03-09 Focus Thread, SUPER LARGE AMOUNTS OF INFO. honhon DURATEC Performance (2008-2011) 59 08-04-2013 10:41 PM
Ford debuts Focus Coupe-Cabriolet Kneel General Car Chat Lounge 50 10-02-2011 07:04 PM
Ford considers bringing 305-hp Focus to U.S. market Tom General Car Chat Lounge 221 09-07-2009 07:34 PM
2009 Ford Focus SES Sedan - Short Take Road Test FFTeam General Car Chat Lounge 15 06-13-2009 11:24 AM
The Ford Focus - General History and Information S2 General Car Chat Lounge 1 11-14-2008 02:04 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:30 PM.


Copyright 2002-2015 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Mazda CX-3, Audi S3, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Acura TLX. You can find all Ford Focus, Focus ST and Focus RS related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area. If you own other makes have a look at Challenger Hellcat Forum, Charger Hellcat Forum, Cadillac ATS-V Forum, Cadillac ATS Forum, Cadillac CTS-V Forum, Lexus RC-F Forum, Lexus GS-F Forum, Mercedes GLA Forum, Mercedes GLE Forum, Civic Type-R Forum and Volvo XC90 Forum.





Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1