The “Do Not Disturb” button will block incoming phone calls and text-message alerts while the vehicle is moving. Incoming calls will be diverted to your cell phone’s voicemail, but the driver can still make outbound calls. Sync’s 911 Assist feature can still call for emergency services so long as the feature is enabled.
Ford also enhanced its audible text-messaging system by adopting a Bluetooth standard called Message Access Profile, allowing Sync to read aloud incoming text messages with improved accuracy.
Ford has tried to limit distractions even further by reducing the amount of features that are accessible when the car is in Drive. Features that are locked out include pairing a Bluetooth phone, web browsing, playing videos and browsing photos. Anything that requires typing on the keypad is prohibited while the car is moving.
Of course, you still can use Sync’s primary functions even with “Do Not Disturb” turned on. These include accessing music and making outbound calls. The 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX will be the first vehicles to offer the “Do Not Disturb” button when those vehicles go on sale later this year.
All 2011 model year vehicles with MyFord or MyLincoln Touch will also get this new feature, but we don’t know how widespread the system will be.