Hot on the heels of Audi's announcement to use T-Mobile for its future wireless data needs, Ford has partnered with AT&T to provide connectivity to the 2012 Focus Electric.
Nearly every EV or plug-in hybrid coming to market will offer some combination of embedded wireless data and an accompanying smartphone app, and as we saw at CES with our exclusive hands-on of MyFord Mobile, FoMoCo will be offering a similar solution for its all-electric Focus hatchback.
The partnership Ma Bell and the Blue Oval involves an embedded wireless connection in the EV that allows drivers with the MyFord Mobile app to keep track of charging, set specific times of the day to juice up (late at night when electrons are cheap) and receive a variety of notifications, ranging from battery status to maintenance reminders.
MapQuest has been tapped to provide charging station locations, range alerts, trip planning and vehicle location, and the MyFord Mobile app also includes the ability to remotely lock and unlocks doors, heat and cool the interior and download performance and system data. And if your phone doesn't have the app, you can use any HTML5-based or WAP 2.0-supported browser to keep tabs on your EV. Hit the jump for the full details and check out our write-up on MyFord Mobile.
- Ford Electric Vehicle Owners Will Have Ability to Remotely Monitor, Engage and Control Vehicle Settings via Information Collected over the AT&T Wireless Network
- Ford Motor Company to use AT&T wireless network to connect new Ford Focus Electric
- Wireless connection enables vehicle owners to control vehicle settings when away from the car - all part of a strategic approach to make Ford electric car ownership simple, easy and engaging
- MyFord Mobile, Ford's exclusive app powered by MapQuest data, will be accessible through a smartphone or secure website
- Embedded wireless connection and dedicated app includes the ability for the owner to monitor and control vehicle charge settings, plan single- or multiple-stop journeys, locate charging stations, pre-heat or cool the car
DALLAS and DEARBORN, Mich., March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company and AT&T* today announced an agreement to wirelessly connect the Ford Focus Electric, Ford's first all-electric passenger car. Announced in January at the 2011 International CES, the new Focus Electric enters production at the Michigan Assembly Plant in late 2011.
Through the new MyFord Mobile smartphone app, using the embedded AT&T wireless connection, Ford Focus Electric vehicle owners will have the ability to send and receive data about their car providing command and control of vehicle settings while away from it.
"Ford has been at the forefront of developing market leading telematics and infotainment services for its vehicles and we're thrilled to be a part of this exciting and significant next step with the upcoming Focus Electric," said Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices, resale and partnerships, AT&T. "Connecting consumers directly to their electric vehicles in this new and innovative way is going to drive innovative and exciting levels of interaction."
MyFord Mobile technology provides Focus Electric owners in North America with a powerful tool to stay connected, monitor and control their vehicle. Through a smartphone app or secure website, MyFord Mobile invites Focus Electric owners to plan trips, monitor the vehicle's state of charge, receive various alerts for vehicle charging, as well as provides several other features designed to simplify the electric vehicle ownership experience.
"With a wireless connection, we're putting battery charge and vehicle range information, along with an interactive, data-driven trip planning app, directly at the fingertips of our customers," said Ed Pleet, product and business manager for Ford Connected Services. "This technology will keep drivers connected to vital information, enhancing their electric car ownership experience. The AT&T network is an important part of this equation and we're pleased to have AT&T on board."
MyFord Mobile will connect through the AT&T network, allowing the car to communicate off-board through standard wireless technology. From an internet connected mobile phone or computer, owners can:
Find current and projected state of charge information including estimated range and the amount of charge time necessary for additional distances
Program vehicle charging with utility input, allowing the car to start charging immediately or when electricity prices are lowest with the value charging feature, powered by Microsoft
Features powered by MapQuest available on the MyFord smartphone app:
- Locate charging stations and get the destination sent to the vehicle
- Know if the vehicle can reach a specific charge station from its current location with the current charge level
- Create a journey with multiple stops, and determine the likelihood that the car has adequate charge for the full journey
- Find the car by creating a route from a mobile phone to the vehicle
- Receive alerts if the vehicle isn't charging when it's scheduled to, or if charging stops unexpectedly due to a power outage, plug removal or other event
- Receive alerts during recharge when the vehicle has reached a particular preset charge level or has the ability to reach a particular destination
- Engage remote vehicle preconditioning, using grid power to heat or cool the vehicle interior
- Remotely lock/unlock doors
- Use the built-in GPS system to locate the car
- Download performance and system data
- Fun ways of understanding your driver behavior, with ratings from 'Zen' to 'Zippy'
- Receive information personalized to the driver, depending on which key the driver used
How the system works
At launch, the MyFord Mobile app will be available for most major smartphones, along with a mobile web application for compatibility with any phone supporting HTML-5 browser-based access, or feature phones with WAP 2.0-supported browsers. The feature also is accessible via a secure Ford website.
Owners will use the smartphone to communicate with a cloud-based highly secure server, which stores information provided by the embedded wireless module in Focus Electric. Using a cloud-based architecture ensures users will have up-to-the-minute access to information through the AT&T wireless network
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.