Ford Authority

Ford Patent Filed For Upgradable Vehicle System

Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for an upgradable vehicle system, Ford Authority has learned.

The patent was filed on December 6th, 2018, published on December 13th, 2022, and assigned serial number 11528330.

The Ford Authority Take

It’s no secret that Ford plans on generating a tremendous amount of revenue in the future through advanced driver-assist features and Ford Pro commercial subscriptions, though not all of those services and features will cost money. In fact, CEO Jim Farley recently panned BMW’s decision to charge customers for heated seat subscriptions. Regardless, it’s clear that The Blue Oval plans to continue rolling out new subscription-based services and features – at least ones that customers are willing to pay for – which is quite obvious from a recent Ford patent outlining an idea for interchangeable performance packages. Now, this new Ford patent takes that concept a step further by exploring an upgradable vehicle system.

With the advent of over-the-air updates, such upgrades have become increasingly common in the automotive world, with several automakers offering customers a performance boost for a price. That’s somewhat the same concept behind this new Ford patent, which would give owners the ability to test out new features – albeit for a trial period – after which they could choose whether or not they want to keep it and pay for it.

Such an idea presents benefits for both vehicle owners and automakers. The former will be able to upgrade their vehicles in the comfort of their own homes, overnight, without having to visit a dealer or third-party shop. On the flip side, this is also a very profitable business for companies like Ford, which can save money on development costs by pushing OTA updates rather than refreshing vehicles every couple of years, making this relatively new product quite likely to continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

We’ll have more on this and all Ford patents soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford trademark news, Ford business news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

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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  1. David Dickinson II

    So, you will “own” a vehicle capable of doing a great many things, but Ford will throttle your performance unless they can charge you on a monthly basis. This is really, really bad. Vehicles have already become grossly over-priced, and now Ford want to slather on multiple revenue streams to bleed their customers dry. No thanks.

    1. RWFA

      More nonsense from our resident Grinch.

      If you don’t want it you don’t pay for it.

      If you don’t want a sled that is capable of feature retrofit don’t buy a sled capable of feature retrofit.

      So many things seem like rocket science to the old grumpalump but they’re not. Even Max the dog gets this.

      And, Mr bare green grumble butt, please stop always trying to bogue Cindy-Lou Who’s Christmas every day of the year.

      1. David Dickinson II

        Robert, I am very thankful for this website for a number of reasons. One of them is that we can clearly see where automotive transportation is moving in the future. And I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. Ford is turning their products into giant cell phones–all kinds of add-ons, limited control over the device you supposedly “own,” OTA changes that you may or may not consent to, etc. The end result will be a vehicle that you pay for but you do not control. The crystal ball shows a future where there are no drivers; only passengers in mobile lounges distracted by screen-based entertainment, and dithering at speeds that are good for the environment.

        Owning vehicles and driving them is a great freedom that companies like Ford (with the full support and taxpayer-funded bribes from the federal government) are attempting to chisel away.

        I hope you enjoy the salt on the bottom of the boots you lick.

        1. RWFA

          I’m the one who wears the boots.

          My grandmother didn’t like the future of touch tone phones or microwaves. Once she had them she loved them.

          It’s kinda sad how you see everything in dystopian terms. IDK, maybe it’s a lack of imagination crossed with a fear based worldview.

          Fact is that autonomous vehicles will be more liberating than you can imagine.

          Many persons unable to drive will be able to get where they want to go without being dependent on anyone else.

          Drivers unsuited for actually guiding a ton and a half or two at speed will be removed as a danger but will still be able to get where they need to.

          Speeds good the environment?

          By combining BEV with autonomy, the speeds good for the environment will be the maximum safe speed allowed by the boundary conditions of road topography and weather conditions.

          Eventually this tech will make better use of road infrastructure and save tax dollars because carbon-guided vehicles make very poor use of lane capacity compared to silicon-guided vehicles.

          Our descendants getting where they are going faster, safer, cleaner. I want in on that action.

          Ps: nobody is going to require you to get a demon brain chip implant or to sacrifice your precious bodily fluids to achieve this.

          Ps to David below.


          What’s more creepy than a selfish old man taking no responsibility for leaving the world a better place when his limited time is up.

          As for the boat proposal, are you speaking of the NOAA proposal to try and prevent the extinction of a genus of whales now numbering under 300, by restricting boats over 35 ft in length to 10 knots within 100 miles of shore? Oh, and it’s only limited to colder seasons between Nov and May?

          Why must some humans think and behave like locusts in being willing to selfishly devour and bespoil all until it is unrecoverable?

          What is more ultimately creepy than that?

          1. David Dickinson II

            Robert, your reply pretty much demonstrates why I oppose your creepster-filled side. Individual freedom getting destroyed for the “greater good” (decided by you). Sloppy individuality is freedom’s fortress.

            Just last year, I recall the eco-fascists on this site telling me that same closing line…nobody is going to force you to…and yet now I live in a state that is going to ban the sale of ICEs in a few years. Your totalitarianism can never have enough control.

          2. David Dickinson II

            Robert, in an incredible stroke of good timing, I just read that the federal government announced a plan to limit the speed of private boats on the East Coast. If the eco-fascists are going to reduce the speed of a handful of boats, why wouldn’t they reduce the speed of millions of cars? Once the evil federal government has the power, it will use it.

  2. Jham

    Wow. I’m glad I got a 22. Only OTA update on a 22 is the APIM. I was able to add adaptive cruise control for $500 to my XLT via Forscan. Usually you have to go all the way up to a Lariat Ultimate and then pay $740 for adaptive cruise addon. But why? The harness is already there if you have 360 degree cameras. Oh wait…greed. Greed is why you have to go up to the luxury trim and pay nearly a grand for a basic safety feature.

    This article is the nasty future that anyone with experience in computer software could see coming.

    1. Jham

      22 Super Duty*

  3. RWFA

    Re the actual article, I’m not sure how this conclusion is drawn: “On the flip side … Ford, which can save money on development costs by pushing OTA updates rather than refreshing vehicles every couple of years…”

    I don’t think this can be true.

    You can’t save money on development costs if you have to develop the item you are bringing to market. Unless it develops itself for free.

    The retrofitable feature may increase net profit on a vehicle by being available for OTA activation but dev costs are a fixed expense item.

  4. Bob Dobson

    If the software in this system is designed by the same group that designed and engineered SYNC 2,3,4 and FordPass then its doomed from the start. Ford makes some great products with some really innovation features but they have long been known for having the worst multimedia systems on the market. Fordpass has been around for years and works maybe 50% of the time and is clunky as the next beta iOS version. OTA updates on current Ford products is fraught with bugs and intermittent functionality. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

    1. RWFA

      Did you miss the part like a year ago when Farley said the same thing and changed policy to get Ford out of wasting resources to develop buggy also ran things like Sync and instead purchasing it in?

  5. DW

    Greedy Ford is at it again! Vehicle prices are already out of control while car manufactures continue to make billions! The breaking point is fast approaching when new vehicle sales are going to drop hard! Keep raising your prices, keep trying to squeeze every cent you can out of your customers and your lots will be overflowing!

    1. RWFA

      Why are you not complaining about Big Oil Setting record profits quarter after quarter?

      Why are you not complaining about Big Pharma doing the same?

      I guess you don’t have much perspective because you would realize that supply constrained production is a nightmare hardship for OEMs and their profits are much thinner and more precarious than they seem.

      Would you be happier if carmakers were bleeding red ink until they collapsed? (I suppose if you’re trying to protect an incumbent BEV OEM that might be the goal.)

      1. Elizabeth

        The best thing I always love is how people are so against subsidies yet the oil and natural gas have shown that they literally depend on subsides.

        BILLIONS btw. Billions of dollars in subsidies. Billions that could be spent on fixing our literally deadly decaying infrastructure. Money could be used to provide up to date textbooks or even school buildings that aren’t falling apart. Money could be used by NASA to further our understanding of our world (Which also very much used by the general populace such as LEDs, laser eye surgery, hearing aids, and so much more)

        Instead it’s shovelled in massive oil companies


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