While South Africans sit and watch the rest of the world enjoy mobility innovations in the form of self-driving cars and an actual selection of electric cars, Ford is looking out for us. Last week, Ford launched its FordPass app in South Africa which brings a bunch of cool accessibility features with it, if you own a Ford of course.
Using the FordPass app, Ford owners (only Ranger 2021 models at present) will be able to remotely lock, unlock and start their vehicles. If this sounds like something that could easily ensure you lose both your phone and your car in a high-tech burglary, don’t panic quite yet.
Your car in your palm
At its base, the FordPass app serves as a glimpse into all of your car’s current stats and needs. It essentially turns your vehicle into a Tamagotchi device.
Among its information, you’ll find the car’s user manuals, service history, recall notifications and access to roadside assistance. Owners will also be able to book a service, or find fuel stations nearby through the app — some nifty features if you’re a forgetful car owner. It happens, okay?
All of the above features are available to all Ford owners, no matter the model. The fancier features come in with something called FordPass Connect.
This is where the fun comes in. With the Connect feature, you’ll be able to peek into your car’s deeper feelings and desires.
Of course, there’s the remote lock, unlock, and start features. In addition to this, you’ll be able to schedule a start (and heat/cool the car before getting in and driving off). You’ll also get to see your vehicle’s status on things like the odometer, fuel level, and oil level. The app will also alert you when the car’s health is a bit off and allow you the ability to track down a lost car in the confusing airport parkade, or any parkade really.
When it comes down to security, car owners would need to authorise and verify users for them to gain access to the car through the app. If some suspicious activity pops us, an owner can easily deny any person access to their car. As always, you’ll still need a key to drive the car, the app won’t start the car when the key’s not in the car. So there’s that.
Currently, FordPass Connect will only be available on automatic vehicle trims, just because it’s easier to track certain things when the car manages the gears, we’re guessing.
At present, you’ll only find FordPass Connect capability on MY21 Ranger models manufactured from Feb 2021 onwards. This includes the Ranger XL, XLS, XLT, Wildtrak, Thunder, Ranpto and the newly announced FX4.
The app is available to download from both the Apple Store for iOS and Google Play Store for Android devices — and it doesn’t cost anything. The company said it has no plans to bring the app to the Huawei AppGallery right now.