The Ford Ranger is Australia’s best selling 4X4 (in January, Ford outsold Hilux in the 4X4 segment by 150 vehicles). And it is about to get a whole lot cooler for those people who like tech(nology). On Wednesday, Ford announced that from mid 2020, every Ford Ranger (and Everest) model sold will come standard with an embedded modem, which enables connectivity like never before.
As a brand, Ford has been progressive in recent years, churning out a number of new models, leading the implementation of new features and safety technology, and turning the industry on its head with the Ranger Raptor, the first manufacturer backed, off-road focused and engineered ute that Australia has ever seen. And this announcement continues that innovation.
The new technology, named ‘FordPass,’ will allow owners to connect remotely with their vehicle via their smartphone, allowing a host of features, like:
- Real-time vehicle status and monitoring (think fuel, tyre pressures (if TPMS fitted), mileage, service status and history. This also includes vehicle health alerts like light bulb replacement etc.
- Remote vehicle lock and unlock – unsure if you remembered to lock your vehicle when you left the carpark? No problem – you’ll be able to lock or unlock your vehicle remotely at any time.
- Remote stop/start – This will allow you to start your vehicle and run it for up to 5 minutes, letting the vehicle heat or cool to the last setting on the climate control. That means a cooler vehicle to return to in summer, or a not so freezing one in Winter. This feature also keeps the doors locked until the driver arrives with the key.
- Vehicle Locator – forgotten where you parked your vehicle? No problem – you’ll always be able to find it with a map and location tracker.
- Live traffic updates – The in vehicle navigation system will get live traffic updates and suggest alternative routes on a real-time basis.
You can expect more details on the technology to be made available closer to the release date.
We think that this is very cool technology. It will no doubt be somewhat controversial given the connectivity that is offered, but it does come with some really cool features. We imagine that the service will be likely offered complimentary for a period of time, and then our guess is that it will then become a subscription service, but no details have been received yet. We’ve reached out to Ford for more details and will share when they are available.
Our guess is that other manufacturers will follow in the not too distant future and make this standard across all vehicles. What do you think? Is this something you are excited by, or something you see as a negative?