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Ford Power-Up Software Updates Announced With Enhanced Alexa Integration

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We’ve known for some time that Ford’s new fully-networked electrical architecture would allow its vehicles to receive over-the-air-updates, beginning with the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E and 2021 Ford F-150. Now, the automaker has a name for its OTA technology – Ford Power-Up software updates, which it just announced, along with a host of enhancements owners can expect in the coming months.

“Software updates are common across billions of connected devices but not yet for vehicles. Ford Power-Up software updates will change that by quickly bringing it to millions of people,” said Alex Purdy, director, business operations, enterprise connectivity, Ford Motor Company. “We’ve invested in more seamless technology so updates can happen while you’re sleeping – making your next ride a better experience.”

The first batch of Ford Power-Up software updates began rolling out in March for the Mach-E and F-150, but many more are on the way. That includes a large-scale rollout of hands-free Amazon Alexa connectivity that functions just like Alexa-connected home devices. The Alexa features will be rolled out to 700,000 Ford vehicles this year in the Ford Bronco, Ford Edge, Mach-E, and Ford Super Duty. Additionally, the FordPass skill for Alexa allows owners to control vehicle functions from home, using only their voice.

In addition to this hands-free Alexa technology, Ford is also working with Amazon on a series of enhanced features and commercial services, including custom Alexa skills for commercial customers. These new features will be rolled out over the course of the next six years, at which point Ford expects Alexa integration will reach millions of vehicles.

“We’re excited to work with Amazon to bring powerful new AI-enabled experiences to Ford customers,” Purdy said. “We believe in the power of teaming up with other innovators. Bringing Ford’s vehicle know-how together with Amazon’s technology expertise will deliver in-vehicle capabilities that help our retail customers travel more enjoyably and with ease while helping our commercial customers operate more profitably.”

In addition to enhanced Alexa features, Ford Power-Up software updates have already added Sketch to the Mach-E, which can be used as a touchscreen drawing pad and simple gaming vessel. Additional enhancements coming to the Mach-E in the coming weeks include Trip Logs and Remote Vehicle Setup, which allows users to store preferences such as radio presets in the cloud.

Both the 2021 F-150 and Mach-E will also soon gain a variety of SYNC 4 and SYNC4A updates including navigation enhancements, updates to the digital owner’s manual, the ability for Apple CarPlay to display navigation directions in the instrument cluster, and the recently-announced BlueCruise hands-free highway driving technology (on properly equipped models with an additional software purchase).

We’ll have more on Ford’s upcoming software updates soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

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Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Bob Dobson

    This is one area Ford really struggles in compared to their competition. As an owner of a 2021 Explorer ST I can honestly say their current OTA software updates for SYNC3 is an absolute cluster F$#$

    The updates rarely work over the air with timeouts or failed downloads, or file corruption.

    Its an embarrassment that a $60K 2021 model year vehicle is still running such a legacy application like SYNC3 while a $30K 2021 Escape runs SYNC4

    Their software is slow on boot up, laggy screen transitions, bugs with SiriusXM radio, Traffic Services, and Travel Link.

    The system will tell an owner no updates are available for your vehicle but online from a third party source an update is available.

    GM MyLink and Stellantis U-Connect are much more robust systems with none of these issues.

    Reply
  2. Stephen Fofanoff

    I’m hopeful that Ford will permit owners to opt out of third party software in their vehicles. I definitely don’t want Amazon tracking my car–their data policies around Alexa give them far too much access to “always on” microphone and camera recording, and location tracking. And they don’t have a great track record of keeping customer data private, including listening in on recordings made by Alexa without customers knowledge. I don’t want to invite them into my car.

    Reply

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