Ford is gearing up for the official launch of its highly anticipated Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle later this year. One of the highlights of that vehicle will be over-the-air updates that bring new features and other changes to the electric vehicle. Ford says that unlike some vehicles that require owners to wait while a software update takes place, it has developed a system that allows secure updates to download the background and, in some instances, can be completed in about two minutes.
Ford says that the improvements the over-the-air updates bring go well beyond SYNC updates. Nearly all of the Mach-E computer modules can be updated wirelessly. This means that Ford can provide performance enhancements and entirely new features that might not exist when customers first purchase their vehicles. Some of the software installations will be virtually invisible to customers.
Owners will be able to select a regular time, like the middle of the night, for updates be applied to the vehicle. Many upgrades can be applied almost instantly after the customer starts the vehicle. Customers will see in-vehicle alerts to tell them what improvements have been installed with the update. Ford does say that there will be some updates that are more complicated and could require the vehicle to be parked for longer.
In those instances, the owners will be able to schedule the updates that take place when they find it most convenient. Ford says that the first updates will be delivered within six months after the first Mustang Mach-E vehicles have been delivered to customers. Vehicle owners will receive notifications when updates are available and updates will be downloadable via a Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity in some instances.
Ford says that in 2020 it will begin equipping most redesigned vehicles in the U.S. with advanced over-the-air update capability. Ford says that its team has found new ways to develop and test OTA updates during the coronavirus pandemic. Many team members are working on the electric vehicle from home and have remote access to all vehicle modules from their homes. Ford says what previously took five hours to program remotely can be now be done in about 10 minutes.