Ford app lets drivers listen to pubradio programming by voice command

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Drivers of some 2012 model Fords will be able to listen to on-demand and streaming public radio programs by voice activation, using a new “NPR News” app debuting at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Spoken commands such as “Hourly News,” “Stations” and “Topics” trigger playback of segments and programs via the automaker’s SYNC AppLink system, which was developed to allow drivers to control smartphones by voice. NPR is the first news organization to develop a dedicated app for its programming. Users of the app can also create playlists and listen to stations across the country, not just within range of their FM receivers. The niftiest feature? NPR’s Carl Kasell narrates the user experience. “Your favorite stations are accessible through the number buttons on your dash,” he tells drivers. “Press once to listen. Press again to discover more from that station. However, no matter how many times you press, I won’t magically appear in your car. Sorry.” New Ford models featuring the omniscient Kasell and the app include the Fiesta, Mustang, F150 and Fusion.

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