Ford rolls out 'Twitter' for car

Ford is going to let you listen to your "tweets" and Internet music and news stations while behind the wheel as the number two US automaker expands what it calls "in-car connectivity."

Ford executives outlined a number of the new features, which are activated by voice or touch commands to minimise driver distraction, in a keynote speech at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) here on Thursday.

The new Internet services, which require a mobile phone with a Bluetooth connection, are a Twitter application built by developer OpenBeak, Pandora music radio and Stitcher, a personalised newscast service.

The US automaker also announced it was in "active talks" with Google about bringing unspecified "devices and services" from the Internet giant to its cars and had forged a partnership with online mapping website MapQuest.

The new technologies being rolled out are systems known as Sync, developed with US software giant Microsoft, which also gives traffic reports, navigation information and even provides a "health report" on the state of the car.

Ford introduced Sync two years ago and president and chief executive Alan Mulally said the company now has more than one million Sync-equipped cars on the road.

Mulally added that the features will eventually "have a place in every Ford vehicle and not just our luxury models."