Power-Up OTA updates can significantly modify vehicle functions remotely
Software updates can save time for owners, money for Ford
Ford is giving its over the air updates a brand name. And the first big update under the Power-Up brand will be Amazon Alexa, coming to more than 700,000 Fords already in customer hands this year.
Power-Up, which is a lot better on the tongue than “over the air updates”, will allow Ford to change the software of up to 80 modules, depending on the vehicle. That means extensive changes to how they work are possible down the road, along with extra software, new features, even apps like FordSketch and games will be available down the road.
More than 100,000 vehicles have already received a Power-Up, 2021 Ford F-150 and Mustang Mach-E models that have been updated since March. Those updates include updates to the F-150’s Zone Lighting system and other software refinements that would not previously have been possible.
Ford vehicles equipped with Sync4, including the Bronco, F-150, Mach-E, and Super Duty trucks will get hands-free Amazon Alexa beginning later this year. That feature will be free for up to three years for users and will allow skills including remote locking and unlocking of the vehicle as well as remote start control, among other features, while from in the vehicle users will be able to operate smart home devices like lights, heating, and garage doors. Soon, Ford says, you’ll even be able to pay for fuel at participating stations just by saying “Alexa, pay for gas.”
Ford is also planning to add instrument cluster direction display for Apple CarPlay users and make digital owner manual enhancements.