Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn today announced it will offer a device that will provide digital connectivity in older Ford cars and trucks.
The FordPass SmartLink will plug into the OBD II port below the steering wheel in 2010-17 model year Ford vehicles, enabling the vehicles to include a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, smartphone control of existing key fob features, vehicle health and security alerts, and vehicle location tracking.
“Vehicle connectivity has improved at a rapid rate in recent years,” says Frederiek Toney, president of 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 customers will pay $16.99 per month, plus installation, for 24 months, to purchase the device and receive telematics services. Also included is a complimentary trial of a Verizon 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with one gigabyte or 30 days of data, whichever comes first. To continue use of the hotspot beyond this period, customers can add their FordPass SmartLink device to an existing Verizon account or to a new account.
“Having reliable Wi-Fi on the go is no longer just nice to have – it’s become a must-have, and Ford recognizes that,” says 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.”
By 2019, Ford expects all of its cars to be built with connectivity. The company today unveiled its 2019 Fusion, the first Ford vehicle with Co-Pilot360 driver-assist technology.
Enrollment is now open to dealers across the country with national availability of the FordPass SmartLink expected by mid-2018.