New In-Car Tech

Ford making FordPass remote features complementary

FordPass mobile app that allows Ford vehicle owners to remotely access their vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

FordPass, Ford Motor Company's mobile platform, will now be free for customers to use. The change makes Ford the first automaker to offer its remote vehicle features and connected service complimentary to customers.

FordPass, powered by FordPass Connect, is a mobile app that allows Ford vehicle owners to remotely start/stop/unlock their vehicles, schedule maintenance at participating dealers, schedule start times, and chat with Ford Guides. The app is compatible with Apple and Android smartphones.

Previously, FordPass was only available to customers via one, two, or five-year subscription trials. General Motors customers pay as much as $14.99 per month for similar OnStar remote vehicle services and Toyota charges $8 per month. Both of those plans come with a free three-month trial subscription.

FordPass Rewards As part of the FordPass service, the automaker will offer complementary enrollment in FordPass Rewards.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Along with those functions, cuomsters will have access to FordPass Rewards, a customer loyalty program that allows them to earn points that can be redeemed for complimentary maintenance with the purchase or lease of a new Ford vehicle. Customers can also earn points by getting their vehicle serviced at their local dealership.

"When customer experience is consistently done correctly it increases loyalty," said Kari Novatney, FordPass. "We think it's important for our customers to have the ability to conveniently and safely access their vehicle from the FordPass app anyplace and anytime."

FordPass was introduced in 2016 and currently has more than 1.5 million active members.

This change in FordPass terms and conditions only applies to select model year vehicles equipped with FordPass Connect. Visit www.FordPass.com for more information.

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Ford EV manufacturing

Ford plans new plants in Tennessee and Kentucky

Ford's new TN facility may be one of the largest in U.S. history.

Ford

Earlier this year, Ford outlined its plans for significant investments in electric vehicle development and construction. Today, the automaker announced a big step forward in that roadmap that will include two new facilities, billions in new spending, and thousands of new jobs.

The $5.6 billion Stanton, TN factory will be called Blue Oval City and will bring 6,000 new jobs to the area. Ford says the site will include a BlueOval SK battery plant, and that electric F-Series trucks will be manufactured there. The assembly plant is designed to be carbon neutral and to send zero waste to landfills once it's up and running.

Ford Blue Oval City Ford plans to create a combined 11,000 jobs.Ford

Ford notes that Blue Oval City will be one of the largest automotive manufacturing sites in U.S. history. The campus sprawls 3,600 acres over six square miles, and will house assembly, battery production, and a supplier facility. The vertical integration of all functions on one site should lower Ford's production costs and reduce its carbon footprint.

The $5.8 billion Kentucky site will be a dedicated battery manufacturing complex that houses two separate battery plants. The location will supply Ford's North American assembly plants and is expected to create 5,000 new jobs. The facilities in both states are being built as part of a joint venture between Ford and SK Innovation, pending regulatory approval.

Ford Blue Oval City The TN facility is expected to be carbon neutral when it's up and running.Ford

The increase in production capacity can't come soon enough for Ford. Earlier this year, the Mustang Mach-E EV debuted to strong demand, and the automaker will soon roll out the first electric F-Series truck. Called the Ford F-150 Lightning, the pickup will be the first electric truck from a legacy automaker.

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The Mach-E is the first EV to pass testing.

Ford

Seeing flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror can either be a very good or very bad thing, depending on what you're doing when they appear. You may be in for a surprise the next time you see them, though, as the Ford Mustang Mach-E just passed police testing and could end up in municipal fleets in the near future. Ford Pro provided the vehicle for testing by the Michigan State Police and it passed, making it the first all-electric vehicle to do so.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Vehicles are tested in several key areas.Ford

The Michigan State Police tests include acceleration, top speed, braking, and high-speed pursuit programs. Emergency response handling is also tested. To help law enforcement agencies make decisions about the vehicles that will best suit their needs, the Michigan State Police tests new model year police vehicles and publishes results for use by other agencies nationwide. It's one of two agencies that perform such tests.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Ford Pro provided the vehicles for testing by the Michigan State PoliceFord

The Ford Mustang Mach-E landed earlier this year and has been in high demand since. The Blue Oval initially offered the EV in a handful of trims and recently added a high-performance GT model to the lineup. All versions of the SUV feature sweeping lines and strong infotainment tech, and some offer extended range batteries with an all-wheel drive option. However, if you're hoping to get your hands on one, be prepared to wait. Current delivery times on Ford's website start at 20 weeks and extend to 28-plus weeks.

Ford Mustang Mach-E The Mach-E launched earlier this year and is in high demand.Ford

Ford Pro is launching soon and will offer a range of electrified and internal combustion vehicles to commercial customers of all types. The portfolio will eventually include the 2022 Ford E-Transit and 2022 F-150 Lightning, and likely the Mustang Mach-E, given its ability to pass the law enforcement tests.

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