DUNTON, UK - The new Jaguar S-Type will offer voice-activated controls for the radio, telephone and climate control.
The system, developed by Ford electronics subsidiary Visteon Automotive Systems, will be unveiled this autumn and will reach the market early next year.
Visteon did not name the S-Type, but industry sources confirmed the choice. A Visteon spokesman said the customer is 'a Ford-umbrella prestige car to be marketed heavily in Europe and the USA and of worldwide reputation.'
Jaguar's S-Type will compete in the mid-luxury segment against the BMW 5 series and Mercedes-Benz E-class. The new S-Type is to be launched at the Birmingham auto show in October. It goes on sale in March 1999.
Visteon engineers in Dearborn developed the original system.
Engineers based at the Ford of Europe research laboratories and factory in the UK adapted it to the vehicle.Visteon says this will be the first factory application of such a system.
Voice activation is widely seen as the 'user interface of the future,' to use Visteon's favored label. Future generations of the system will recognize thousands of voice commands to control almost all non-driving activities, such as resetting the clock or controlling the navigation system.