Have you ever been envious when a new technology arrives just after you buy a new vehicle, or wish that vehicle could be repaired in your driveway? Ford has an answer to delight Ford vehicle owner’s and reduce repair trips.
In 2020, Ford will begin equipping most redesigned vehicles in the U.S. with advanced over-the-air update (OTA) technology, making it easy to wirelessly upgrade vehicles with quality, capability and convenience updates that can help improve vehicles over time and reduce dealer trips. Ford quickly becomes a leader in launching bumper-to-bumper OTAs for nearly all vehicle computer modules, including in conventional gas-engine vehicles.
“Nobody wants to feel like they’re missing out on great features right after spending their hard-earned money on a new vehicle – that’s where our over-the-air updates can help,” said Don Butler, executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services, Ford Motor Company. “We can now help improve your vehicle’s capability, quality and overall driving experience while you’re sleeping.”
Ford expects to deliver its first updates about six months after launching the first vehicles with the capability in 2020. Other updates could add new features to your vehicle, just as when Ford added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility to SYNC 3 through USB and WiFi updates several years ago.
Some updates will be virtually invisible to customers, enabled by an innovative platform that installs much of the new software in the background. This new platform keeps current software running until the new version is ready for activation – something that no other vehicle, or even some popular smartphones, can do today.
“Computer updates that require reboots seem to come at the most inconvenient times, which is why we wanted to make our updates as invisible to customers as possible,” says Butler.
Customers can select a regular time they are not using the vehicle – such as the middle of the night for many – to schedule updates their vehicle is off, meaning they may not even notice the installation occurred once they start their car. Most other updates can be activated in under two minutes, while any updates that may require the vehicle to be parked can be scheduled to take place when customers find it most convenient.
Customers can receive notifications detailing the software updates when they are available and can even opt in to have the updates applied automatically over Wi-Fi or cellular connections. In-vehicle alerts will then tell customers what updates were installed when they start the vehicle the next time.