10 tech-tastic features inside the new Ford Kuga 2013

10 tech-tastic features inside the new Ford Kuga 2013
Unfortunately you still have to at least try to drive yourself

Ford's latest foray into the world of tech-infused cars is the all-new Kuga. Ford's renovated 4x4 or SUV is packed with all sorts of tech to make your driving life easier.

From lane guidance and road sign recognition to electric tail gates, automatic braking and more, it's equipped with things you'd normally expect to find on a much more expensive car.

So let's look at 10 of the best tech features onboard the Ford Kuga 2013.

1. Ford SYNC

10 tech-tastic features inside the new Ford Kuga 2013

First and foremost, Ford's intelligent voice-controlled car media system sees another outing in the Kuga. Like the system integrated into the new Fiesta, SYNC enables you to control all aspects of the in-car entertainment system with your voice. From barking out call commands to switching tracks to selecting individual artists by name, unlike systems such as Siri or Google Voice Search it's all done offline, which means you don't need a data connection for your car.

You can hook your phone up via Bluetooth for limited play, pause, skip-track control and voice dialling, or attach it to the in-car system via USB, providing complete indexing of all your choice tunes for full voice control. Most modern smartphones are supported, including Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone, with integration for various apps like Spotify, which means you're not just tied to your stock music player either.

As you might expect, you can also do your usual voice dialling via the Ford SYNC system, which goes one step further and pulls down your address book from your phone to intelligently work out who you're trying to call. SYNC is even capable of reading out your text messages if you so wish, with support for snippets of 'text speak' and a selection of smilies.

You might feel a little stupid talking to your car, but at least your eyes can remain glued to the road.

2. Driver alert system

10 tech-tastic features inside the new Ford Kuga 2013

Ford's new driver alert system aims to eliminate accidents caused by sleepy drivers. The car monitors your driving behaviour using its front-facing camera and sensors that measure its movement, to detect the kind of erratic driving that comes from being fatigued behind the wheel.

If the system thinks that your driving is impaired, it flashes up a warning on the in-car information system. If you then ignore or don't see the warning, the car goes all-out to try to get you to take a break, firing increasingly annoying in-car beeps, flashes and warning signs at you.

Of course, the car monitors your driving from the word go and gives you a set of screens that you can manually access to see how you're driving, and discover whether the car thinks you're doing a bad job. Not all people will like this kind of nannying from their car, but at least if you're driving when you really should be in bed, the driver monitor might help you realise the fact and avoid a nasty accident.

3. Traffic sign recognition

10 tech-tastic features inside the new Ford Kuga 2013

While normally it's pretty easy to know what the speed limit is on the stretch of road you happen to be cruising down, sometimes you just get distracted by bad drivers or while you're attempting to overtake something. Ford's fancy new traffic sign recognition system again uses the car's front-facing camera to monitor the road ahead, detecting and then displaying recent road signs including speed limits and bans on lane changes on the in-car information screen.

It uses an intuitive ageing display system to show you how long ago the road sign was detected, with newer signs showing up brighter and dimming until disappearing as they age and become outdated. It's quite a nice little bonus that could help you in those situations where you're about to hit a speed camera and you can't for the life of you remember the speed limit. It could even save you a speeding fine or two.