Ford is introducing wireless software technology to deliver automatic updates that will keep vehicles equipped with the latest improvements and upgrades.
Ford Power-Up will be available in 33 million vehicles by 2028, with some enhancements already rolled out to over 100,000 F-150 and Mustang Mach-E customers. More than 6 million cars and trucks are equipped with embedded connectivity features, the company said in a Thursday (May 13) press release.
“Software updates are common across billions of connected devices but not yet for vehicles. Ford Power-Up software updates will change that by quickly bringing it to millions of people,” Alex Purdy, director, business operations, enterprise connectivity, Ford Motor Company, said in the release.
Purdy added that the new technology is “more seamless” and the updates can take place “while you’re sleeping.”
Most Ford Power-Up software updates use SYNC 4 Technology that keeps the old software running until the updates are completed. Most take place in the background and require little interaction from customers. When an update requires a reboot, customers have the option of scheduling it to happen overnight. While some take just minutes, other updates can take more time.
Ford is also expanding its relationship with Amazon, with plans to install embedded Alexa capabilities in 700,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. The two companies also are teaming up to boost features and offer new commercial services. In the works is the introduction of the first custom Alexa skills for commercial vehicles, which will enable fleet operators to communicate with their teams on the road.
Purdy said Ford recognizes “the power of teaming up with other innovators” and two companies have complementary skills.
“Bringing Ford’s vehicle know-how together with Amazon’s technology expertise will deliver in-vehicle capabilities that help our retail customers travel more enjoyably and with ease while helping our commercial customers operate more profitably,” Purdy said.
Buick and Nissan also offer embedded Alexa technology. Data shows that a new generation of customers wants connectivity in their vehicles, whereas historically, gas mileage and horsepower were the top concerns. The global connected-car market is anticipated to reach $166 billion by 2025 from $53.9 billion in 2020.
New research conducted by the ConsumerLab showed that some 80 percent of people who commuted to work pre-pandemic expect that once all restrictions are lifted, they will be back on the road traveling to and from their jobs. One in four people surveyed said they would be willing to add 20 minutes to their work commute if they could control arrival time.