Ford announced today that millions of its customers will soon be able to upgrade the connectivity in their older-model Ford vehicles to include a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, smartphone control of existing key fob features, vehicle health and security alerts and vehicle location tracking.
Using a simple device that plugs into the OBD II port below the steering wheel, the new FordPass SmartLink experience gives owners of 2010-17 model year Ford vehicles those connectivity features normally available only on newer vehicles equipped with modems.
“Vehicle connectivity has improved at a rapid rate in recent years,” said Frederiek Toney, president, Global, Ford Customer Service Division. “We believe offering an affordable way for our customers to upgrade their older-model vehicles to include more modern technology will improve their ownership experience for years to come.”
FordPass SmartLink is available exclusively through Ford dealerships nationwide starting in mid-2018 and is the latest example of Ford’s aggressive connected vehicle plan. By 2019, 100 percent of Ford’s new U.S. vehicles will be built with connectivity.
With more than two years of research and development invested, FordPass SmartLink engineers, in collaboration with Aptiv and Verizon Connect, have worked to make the technology function seamlessly on 2010-17 Ford vehicles.
“From security to performance, we’ve conducted extensive testing and made a number of improvements to ensure FordPass SmartLink enhances the customer experience for our Ford vehicle owners,” said Don Butler, executive director of Ford’s connected vehicle and services.
FordPass SmartLink customers pay $16.99 a month, plus installation, for 24 months to purchase the device and receive telematics services that enable remote key fob, location and vehicle health features. Also included is a complimentary trial of a Verizon 4G LTE WiFi hotspot with 1 gigabyte or 30 days of data, whichever comes first.
To continue use of the WiFi hotspot beyond the initial trial period, customers can add their FordPass SmartLink device to their existing Verizon account or establish a new one.
“Having reliable WiFi on the go is no longer just ‘nice to have’ – it’s become a ‘must-have,’ and Ford recognizes that,” said Susan Heystee, senior vice president, worldwide OEM business at Verizon Connect. “Streaming music and podcasts in the front seat or keeping kids entertained on their mobile devices in the back is now as easy as turning on FordPass SmartLink’s Verizon 4G LTE hotspot.”
FordPass SmartLink enrollment is now open to dealers across the U.S. with national availability expected by mid-2018.