The computer world has taken over the automotive industry with the introduction of digital tools on dashboards. Internet connectivity was later democratized among certain manufacturers such as Tesla, who used the concept of remote updating across their entire range.
Ford has just announced that it will also provide these services for all of its models. Almost 33 million units will be equipped by 2028. In the past two months, 100,000 F-150 and Mustang Mach-E owners have seen their copy evolve without going through a network garage.
Over the course of the year, deployment will focus on 700,000 customers – primarily from the US and Canada initially – who can receive updates remotely. A feature has already been announced on the program: the arrival of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
The improvements made don’t just focus on the infotainment screen. According to the brand, “80 computer modules in the vehicle” will be affected by future updates. “Now Fords will improve over time,” said Alex Purdy, the brand’s chief commercial officer, not without reference to one of Tesla’s main selling points in recent years.
Semi-autonomous driving, Google partnership
The arrival of Alexa will be the first highlight of these wireless updates. However, Ford is also planning to use the connectivity to offer billed services such as the semi-autonomous driving option “Bluecruise”, which was introduced in mid-April. In the future, Fords will be even more digital when Ford has signed a contract with Google to manage its digital services and interfaces.
“As Ford makes the most profound change in its history with electrification, connectivity and autonomous driving, the merger of Google and Ford enables the creation of a true innovation hub that can deliver a personalized experience to our users and modernize our business,” said Jim Farley. Ford President in April.
Otherwise, Ford intends to continue to accelerate its presence in the electronics market by manufacturing its own battery cells. Instead of using SK Innovation for its supply, the American company will rely on its own skills and factories. This requires extra effort.
Ambition could be a real asset in a booming market that relies too heavily on Asian suppliers. But the F-150 “Lightning”, the brand’s future 100% electric pickup, will hit the market in summer 2022.