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Ford Improves FG Falcon Sat Nav



14th August, 2008

Copyright image of Ford Falcon XR6 - FG series

Ford Australia yesterday announced two new technology developments for the FG Falcon range, both of which are the first of their type to be introduced by an automotive vehicle brand in Australia.

Ford is the first car company to offer Suna™ Traffic Channel as an integrated feature on its satellite navigation system, which is available as an option on FG Falcon and selected FG Falcon Ute models, as well as on the Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) FG Series.

Ford's satellite navigation system will also be the first integrated vehicle system to employ the latest Whereis® Version 15 map data, which has been upgraded with greater map coverage and content.

"Both of these new technologies are seamlessly integrated into satellite navigation-equipped FG Falcon models, delivering the very latest in convenience features for our customers, as well as extending Ford's technology leadership position," Ford Australia Chief Engineer Electrical, Stuart Taylor said.

"Ford's electrical engineering team has worked closely and collaboratively with the Suna Traffic Channel provider over the past two years to make this exciting new feature a reality for the FG Falcon, which has been designed from the outset to be a technology-capable vehicle platform."

"As the first car company in Australia to offer Suna Traffic Channel in an integrated vehicle solution, we are extremely pleased to be able to provide such relevant and useable technology to our customers from August production onwards."

Suna Traffic Channel connects Ford's satellite navigation system to dynamic road traffic information, assisting the driver to avoid traffic congestion and delays. Traffic information is gathered from a range of sources, including traffic control centres, traffic lights, road sensors and probe vehicles, and then transmitted via an FM broadcast.

Suna Traffic Channel uses the international Traffic Message Channel (TMC) standard to encode traffic conditions and information, and is broadcast using the Radio Data System (RDS).

The satellite navigation system then picks up this broadcast and converts the information into easy-to-understand traffic messages, which are displayed on the seven-inch full colour TFT Interior Command Centre (ICC) screen – mounted high in the car to minimise distraction and maximise safety.

The feature only alerts the driver to messages that are relevant to the vehicle's location or planned route and, if desired, will allow the driver to re-route around the upcoming traffic delay.

Suna Traffic Channel can display information such as how long the delay will be, the cause of the delay and the estimated new arrival time. The traffic information can be displayed on the ICC screen in a number of different ways, depending upon the settings selected by the driver.

With the introduction of Suna Traffic Channel, the satellite navigation system is turned from a tool to find unknown destinations into an interactive, value-adding feature, which can be used everyday and is valuable even on the routes that a driver is familiar with, such as driving to and from work.

As this is new technology for the Australian marketplace, Suna Traffic Channel coverage will initially be available in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, with more launches due for metropolitan areas around Australia in the next 12-24 months.

In addition to the introduction of this dynamic traffic information feature, all FG Falcon satellite navigation systems are now equipped with the latest Whereis® Version 15 map data (previously V14 maps).

Ford is the first automotive manufacturer to adopt the upgraded map data for an integrated vehicle system, which provides greater and enhanced coverage and content, including:

  1. Traffic Message Channel location table for the eastern seaboard (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane)
  2. Updated road network to 2008 street directory releases, including new roads such as EastLink in Melbourne, Victoria and the Lane Cove Tunnel in Sydney, NSW
  3. The latest red light and fixed speed camera locations Australia-wide, which are displayed via pop-up warnings on the ICC screen when approaching these locations
  4. The latest road speed data for most major highways and the Sydney metro area
  5. More than 1.1 million kilometres of roads
  6. More than 600,000 points of interest

Satellite navigation with Suna Traffic Channel* is available as an option on all FG Falcon sedans, as well as FG Falcon Ute XR6, XR6 Turbo and XR8 models, for the recommended retail price of $2,290.

* Ford has an arrangement for the Suna Traffic Channel broadcast to be provided for a minimum of five years from the time of vehicle manufacture. Coverage includes Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane metropolitan areas.

Other Ford content: here.

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