Ford has made a series of connected vehicle services complimentary to customers in Europe, allowing drivers to control and monitor major features in their cars from their smartphone.
Drivers access connected vehicle features making the use of the FordPass app which allows a variety of remote services, including checking on vehicle health, fuel level and oil levels, range, and also locking and unlocking doors.
Earlier, connected vehicle services were available to new vehicle owners as a two-year trial subscription. The automaker has now waived subscription fees for much of its connected services, potentially saving drivers hundreds of euros over the lifetime of a vehicle.
With the FordPass app drivers can start their vehicle engine remotely, climatizing the cabin to a comfortable temperature before setting out – it is useful for de-icing the windscreen on a frosty morning.
Push notifications and in-app vehicle health alerts highlight any issues that may need the attention of the owner, such as low tyre pressure or a failed lightbulb. The FordPass app can also reveal the vehicle’s exact location, so drivers won’t need to worry about losing their vehicle in a busy car park.
Being able to remotely lock and unlock their vehicle could be helpful for drivers who have forgotten whether they secured their vehicle after walking away, or if they need to allow temporary access to a friend or family member with no key.
Owners can observe and download summaries of the latest trips to better analyze fuel usage and costs and to help claim business mileage. Journeys can also be overlaid onto a map to show places where harsh braking or acceleration was identified, encouraging more efficient driving.
FordPass provides support in the event of a breakdown too, automatically coordinating with roadside patrols to enable drivers to continue their journeys as quickly as possible. The FordPass app sends vehicle location and diagnostics information to the roadside assistance service and provides drivers the reassurance of observing where their patrol is and how quickly it will arrive.
FordPass brings more features that will help owners of electrified vehicles (EVs) such as the new Kuga Plug-In Hybrid and all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid.
Together with the information about battery level and electric driving range, the FordPass app helps EV owners take advantage of off-peak electricity tariffs by allowing them to schedule vehicle charging. FordPass users can also set a departure time, warming or cooling the cabin when the vehicle is plugged in, leaving the battery to get the best range possible. The FordPass app also consists of a convenient charging station locator to help driver’s top-up on the go.
The app offers feedback on fuel and electric energy usage as well, including energy recaptured through regenerative braking and miles traveled using electric power alone, encouraging efficient driving behaviors to preserve fuel and decrease CO2 emissions.