DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And we also have some news this morning involving cars and this network. Ford Motor Company and NPR have announced a deal that will allow drivers to get NPR programming directly in their car - not through the radio but from a voice-activated smartphone app. And NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Increasingly with the car companies it's the battle of the apps. Your Toyota Camry can get you a table at your favorite restaurant. And now you can order up Robert Siegel from the comfort of your car. Ford and NPR have joined together to essentially make the NPR app that's available on smartphones available in your car.
GARY KNELL: This will have a set of choices for the consumer, so they will be able to listen to programs that they love, topics that they love.
GLINTON: Gary Knell is NPR's CEO. So if listeners are interested in, say, business or cars...
KNELL: They can break those down and listen to the last several reports coming from National Public Radio. And most importantly, they will be able to hear stations. And they will be able to hear local programs.
GLINTON: This is the first time a major news organization and car company have collaborated on a car app. The app will work exclusively through Ford's SYNC AppLink system using voice controls.
David Champion is with Consumer Reports. He's been a critic of car infotainment systems. Champion says even with voice controls, it's hard for drivers not to become distracted.
DAVID CHAMPION: The problem with voice recognition is if you've got kids in the car and you start talking to the car, they start talking to the car as well, and then trying to get your commands understood is somewhat difficult.
GLINTON: Executives for both Ford and NPR say safety is their first concern. They also say it's better to have the new technology than not, because it is a step forward. Or you could just use your radio.
Sonari Glinton, NPR News.
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