Ford’s upcoming all-electric performance crossover, the Mustang Mach-E, is an exciting product that could be a game-changer for Ford. While we were initially skeptical of the name, we’re already sold on its looks, and the details about its electric powertrain are promising. Now Ford tells us that the Mach-E will also be able to stay current via over-the-air (OTA) updates, with the first ones expected about six months after launch.
OTA technology allows the Mustang Mach-E to be updated from anywhere and, as Ford promises, almost invisibly (though owners will receive notifications), with many updates taking under two minutes to complete. Customers will be able to schedule a regular time for these updates, so they can have them occur while parked overnight and wake up to an updated vehicle in the morning. If need be, say, if the vehicle is already in use when an update is ready, the Mach-E can continue to run on current software while preparing the update in the background.
“The beauty of the Mustang Mach-E is that what our customers experience on day one is just the beginning — it will evolve to add even more features and capabilities over time,” said John Vangelov, connected services manager at Ford. OTA updates can improve systems like Ford’s Sync infotainment, or even provide performance enhancements and add new features.
Of course, OTA updates aren’t entirely new. Tesla, famously, has relied on them to provide enhancements to software, fix bugs, add features and Easter eggs and improve its cars’ performance without requiring a visit to a service center. And while OTA is new to Ford, it won’t stop with the Mustang Mach-E. Ford says it’ll begin to include the capability on most of its new or redesigned vehicles going forward.
Appropriately, Ford notes how its engineers have continued developing its OTA tech while working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. Not only can Ford customers get updates remotely, engineers have created ways to work on the technology remotely. "By quickly implementing remote access to our vehicle components," said Vangelov, "we’re ensuring our Mustang Mach-E customers can enjoy the great capabilities they’ve been looking forward to from the start, while providing the accommodations our engineers need to continue innovating from the safety of their homes."
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is scheduled to launch simultaneously in the U.S. and Europe late this year. The flagship Mach-E GT models — boasting an expected 459 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque (though final specs could differ) — are due in 2021. The base Select model will start at $43,895 before destination and tax incentives, with the GT starting at $60,500.