Ford Pass Connect brings remote smartphone access
Ford Australia is introducing sophisticated smartphone app connectivity to its models, allowing remote access, location data and more.
Ford’s new Ford Pass remote access technology is rolling out now on Ford Ranger, Everest, and Transit vehicles. Ford Pass will join the rest of the range – such as Fiesta, Mustang, Focus and Escape – next year.
So what can it do? Usually the preserve of vehicles such as Teslas, Ford Pass allows anyone with a compatible vehicle and Apple or Android phone to use the app (Ford Pass) to do things like see where their car is parked, check how much fuel is in the tank, and start the car from anywhere.
“Whether you’re a young family, small business or just like the convenience, FordPass Connect can really make so many day-to-day tasks easier,” said Ford Australia mobility and connectivity manager, Christine Wagner.
It unlocks plenty of usefulness, particularly for cold-starting the car in extreme weather (just set the climate control to warm or air-con to cold), and has small-fleet potential with location mapping. The latter is only for parked cars, so it doesn’t have live-tracking functionality, and instead will show the last known parked location. This can be shared with up to ten different users using the app connected to that car. If you’re worried about privacy, Ford adds that it doesn’t track or use any of this data.
Ford also ensures that the technology has the latest security behind it to protect user data and prevent malicious access from hackers
Functions that can all be controlled form the phone app include locking and unlocking doors, remote start and stop, live traffic updates, checking the tyre pressure and ‘health alerts’ on the vehicle, with the ability to book in scheduled services (which are mostly included in fixed-price servicing plans).
Best of all, Ford Pass is free. At least for the immediate future, with Ford potentially requiring a payment or subscription after three years, although it might continue to be offered as a complimentary service (we would think to the end of the five-year warranty period makes sense).
Like similar systems, the technology requires a cellular data connection which via a sim card in each car. It connects to the mobile phone network and passes through Ford’s secure servers to your phone app and logged in user account.
Along with Ford Pass, Ford is also rolling out voice-activated navigation for vehicles with sat-nav built in.