The first modem-equipped cars from Ford are arriving in Australia as the brand releases its FordPass Connect across its Ranger, Everest and Transit product lines.
While those three are the first initial models to have access to FordPass Connect, Ford has promised that every car in its line-up will be equipped with the technology as their product lines update.
The technology, which already exists in other markets, equips your Ford with a modem, allowing you to connect to your car via your phone. On a basic level, you can unlock your car, start or stop your vehicle remotely, get reports on vital fluid levels (including fuel tank) and locate your car, all through a free-to-download application.
“This is a new eco-system for Australian Ford customers,” says Ford’s Christine Wagner. “The FordPass app works in conjunction with the modem fitted to the car, and the two then work together to provide these connected services.
“These services are available on all cars that we make, the only exception is remote start, which is only available with an automatic – the function isn’t compatible with a manual gearbox – but other than that, all the services we have are available to all of our customers.
“It comes with our idea of fitting a modem to every single vehicle as part of our new model release strategy.”
A standout feature of fitting a SIM-equipped modem to your car is that the SIM scans the available networks and selects the one with the strongest signal, be it Telstra, Optus or Vodafone.
An advantage of this is that when you’re using navigation with live traffic, the on-board satellite navigation will continue to function even if your mobile phone drops out of range, so long as one of the three major mobile providers have signal.
Most important to note: the majority of the services are free (at least initially) with Ford including the feature in the sticker price of the vehicle and covering the modem for the duration of the manufacturer warranty.
The live traffic function will be offered gratis for a period of three years, after such time, customers will be asked to subscribe from that point, the cost yet to be determined.
The service will appear on Ranger, Everest and Transit products now, and will be rolled out across the rest of the Ford line-up as each vehicle is updated.
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