Archive for May, 2021

Amazon Alexa is coming to YOUR 2021 F-150

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

with a lot more great tech features coming to your truck via a Ford “Power-up” (Over-the-air update)

  • Ford Power-Up software updates deliver regular vehicle enhancements to Ford owners, turning connected vehicle learnings into continuous quality improvements, new features and capabilities: Ford to produce 33 million vehicles with Power-Up capability by 2028
  • Ford Power-Up enhancements already have been sent to more than 100,000 2021 F-150 and Mustang Mach-E customers since late March; new Sketch for touchscreen drawing and simple gaming coming to Mustang Mach-E soon
  • Ford Power-Up enhancements include what’s planned to be the industry’s broadest roll-out yet of the new, more seamless Amazon Alexa Built-in hands-free experience, offering complimentary access to key features for up to three years; companies plan to work together to deliver enhanced features and new commercial services over the next six years.
  • Ford Power-Up software updates will deliver available BlueCruise hands-free highway driving technology for properly equipped F-150 and Mustang Mach-E vehicles

DEARBORN, Mich., May 13, 2021 – Settling in for a drive in an enhanced, upgraded vehicle will now become a regular experience for Ford owners as the company routinely delivers new features and improvements through its wireless software update technology called Ford Power-Up.  

The first Ford Power-Up software updates for F-150 and Mustang Mach-E customers in North America began in March, accelerating a transformation well underway with more than 6 million vehicles on the road today featuring advanced, embedded modem connectivity. New vehicles equipped with Ford Power-Up capability identify customer preferences and vehicle issues, which Ford engineers then translate into quality and capability improvements delivered through Ford Power-Up enhancements.

“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,” says 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.”

A new fully networked, second-generation electrical architecture and advanced tech stack create the foundation to deliver unique Ford Power-Up software updates. These quick and easy wireless upgrades help enhance features, quality, experiences, capability and convenience. Capable of updating the vast majority of vehicle computer modules – more than 80 on higher end models – these upgrades can help improve the ownership experience and may help reduce the need for repair trips.

Many Ford Power-Up software updates will be virtually invisible to customers, enabled by a tech platform that installs much of the new software in the background. Many updates require little to no action by the customer, enabled by SYNC® 4 Technology that keeps current software running until the new version is ready to go.

For updates that require reboots, Ford invites customers to schedule them at convenient times, such as overnight. Some updates can be made in under two minutes1, while others may take longer. Unlike updates for devices such as laptops which often seem to come at inconvenient times, vehicle owners may not even notice that the installation occurred until the vehicle is started.

Amazon and Ford plan to expand relationship to create new features

Ford is prepping what’s planned to be the industry’s broadest rollout of the embedded Alexa hands-free experience to date, with complimentary connectivity to Alexa for up to three years2. This year alone, the same type of Alexa voice command functionality many people have in their homes will be wired to 700,000 Ford vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, followed by millions more over the next few years.

As part of a new strategic engagement between Amazon and Ford, the companies plan to work together to deliver enhanced features and new commercial services over the next six years. This includes exploring the development of the first custom Alexa skills for Ford commercial vehicles, using the power of Alexa artificial intelligence to help business owners and fleet managers stay in touch with their teams and increase productivity.

“We’re excited to work with Amazon to bring powerful new AI-enabled experiences to Ford customers,” says Purdy. “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.”

Alexa will initially be delivered through Ford Power-Up software updates beginning this fall for Bronco®, Edge, F-150, Mustang Mach-E and Super Duty® customers with SYNC 4 Technology in the U.S. and Canada, with other regions to follow.

“Democratizing technology and putting it within reach of millions of customers has been a part of Ford’s DNA dating back to the Model T, and our new collaboration is a continuation of that legacy,” says Ned Curic, vice president, Alexa Automotive. “We can’t wait for Ford customers to experience the best of what Alexa and voice AI can do while on the road – including new features and capabilities that will be delivered seamlessly through future over-the-air software updates. We love the vote of confidence from Ford to deepen our work together and continue making the driving experience more connected, entertaining, and productive.”

The support of Alexa on SYNC 4 represents the latest collaboration between Ford and Amazon. Ford first brought Alexa into its vehicles in 2017, starting with connected vehicle skills and then adding in-vehicle capabilities through the SYNC AppLink smartphone app, which is still available but no longer required for the new, more seamless capability. More information about how customers can set up an Alexa account will be shared closer to launch.

Inside their vehicle, Ford customers can ask Alexa to control smart home devices, place calls, locate parking and more. Alexa capabilities delivered through SYNC 4 Technology provide the convenience of hands-free, voice-initiated interactions – minimizing the need for drivers to view or touch screens and helping them keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Customers can interact with their vehicles naturally and say things like, “Alexa, find the closest gas station” or “Alexa, play my road trip playlist” or “Alexa, call Mom.”

Ford customers will be able to access the benefits of Amazon’s world-class voice AI and intelligent features both inside and outside their vehicle. Combined with the FordPass skill for Alexa3 – which customers can continue to use to control vehicle functions such as start/stop engine, lock and unlock doors4, check vehicle range or tire pressure all from the comfort of their home – Ford is bringing smart homes and connected vehicles closer together.

Powering up new features, quality

Over the last two months, 2021 F-150 and Mustang Mach-E customers have begun receiving Ford Power-Up enhancements. Mustang Mach-E customers in North America and Europe soon will receive Sketch — also referred to as Notes in vehicle menus – for touchscreen drawing and simple gaming.

Ford Power-Up software updates will quickly expand to nearly all vehicle computer modules, enabling an update of Ford Co-Pilot360 Technology that adds BlueCruise5 hands-free highway driving to Intelligent Cruise Control. This will be delivered to properly equipped F-150 and Mustang Mach-E vehicles with additional software purchase later this year.

The company’s move to modernize its quality processes is already delivering results. Ford engineers used connected vehicle data to quickly identify issues with F-150 zone lighting. Ford also plans to address an issue with F-150 and Mustang Mach-E Android Auto connectivity by June.

Customers also will continue to receive new enhancements over the coming weeks, including:

  • Remote Vehicle Setup and Trip Logs let new Mustang Mach-E customers use the FordPass app to set up profile preferences, including radio presets, in the cloud to be sent to vehicles, while trip logs track battery usage and other driving details on each trip.
  • F-150 SYNC 4 and Mustang Mach-E SYNC 4A upgrades, including:
  • Navigation enhancementsautomatically make helpful destination suggestions, plus new cloud connectivity combines conversational voice command recognition with internet-based search.
  • Apple CarPlayÒ compatibilityenhancement to display turn-by-turn navigation in the vehicle’s instrument cluster6.
  • Digital owner’s manual enhancements to continue making the innovative, paperless product guides even more valuable.

1 FordPass Connect (optional on select vehicles),] the Ford Pass App., and complimentary Connected Service are required for remote features (see FordPass Terms for details). Connected service and features depend on compatible AT&T network availability. Evolving technology/cellular networks/vehicle capability may limit functionality and prevent operation of connected features. Connected service excludes Wi-Fi hotspot.

2Alexa Built-In requires SYNC®4 and FordPass Connect (optional on select vehicles), complimentary connect service and the FordPass app (see FordPass Terms for details). Eligible 2021 vehicles receive a complimentary 3-year trial of Alexa Built-In that starts with the date customer accepts Ford Power-Up software update (after which fees may apply). Complementary3-year trial for 2022 model year vehicles begins with new vehicle warranty start date (after which fees may apply).

Connected service and features depend on compatible AT&T network availability. Evolving technology/cellular networks/vehicle capability may limit functionality and prevent operation of connected features.

FordPass App, compatible with select smartphone platforms, is available via a download. Message and data rates may apply. 

3Requires FordPass™ Connect and FordPass Connect service

4Start/Stop engine requires automatic transmission; lock/unlock doors requires power door locks

5Driver-assist features are supplemental and do not replace the driver’s attention, judgment and need to control the vehicle. BlueCruise t is a hands-free highway driving feature. Only remove hands from the steering wheel when in a Hands-Free Blue Zones. Always watch the road and be prepared to resume control of the vehicle.  It does not replace safe driving.  See Owner’s Manual for detail and limitations.

6Requires phone with active data service and compatible software. SYNC 4 does not control 3rd party products while in use. 3rd Parties are solely responsible for their respective functionality.

FORD GROWS RUGGED SUV LINEUP WITH NEW FORD EXPLORER TIMBERLINE – MOST OFF-ROAD-CAPABLE EXPLORER EVER

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021
  • Ford delivers on promise to offer more rugged, off-road-capable SUVs and trucks by introducing the new Explorer Timberline; the first Timberline series Ford SUV gives customers more capable off-road features for memorable weekend adventures with family and friends
  • New 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline is the most off-road-capable Explorer ever thanks to increased ground clearance, improved approach and departure angles, steel skid plates, Torsen® limited-slip differential, Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires and new shocks, springs and stabilizer bars
  • Explorer Timberline sports a functional, capable appearance with unique front and rear styling combined with three rows of seating for family and friends to explore more

DEARBORN, Mich., May 5, 2021 – Ford delivers on its promise to offer more rugged SUVs and trucks with the new Explorer Timberline – the most off-road-capable Explorer ever. The first Timberline series Ford SUV is designed to give customers more capable off-road features to enjoy weekend adventures with family and friends.  

Explorer Timberline is the latest addition to America’s all-time best-selling SUV lineup. The seventh new rugged SUV or truck Ford has introduced since 2019, Explorer Timberline joins the all-new Bronco brand two- and four-door Bronco and Bronco Sport, all-new F-150 Raptor, and the Tremor lineup of Ford trucks – Ranger Tremor, F-150 Tremor and F-Series Super Duty Tremor.

“Ford is delivering on more capable SUVs with Timberline.  Consumer data has shown us that now more than ever, customers want to get outside and explore nature with friends and family,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, Americas & International Markets Group, Ford Motor Company. “Timberline hits a new sweet spot with these customers who want an ideal combination of passenger space, moderate off-road capability and great manners around town.”

Two consumer trends have come together to support the launch of the Timberline series. The first is the popularity of SUVs and the growing number of buyers who go off-roading. Over the last 10 years, SUVs have jumped from 36 percent to 55 percent of the U.S. market, with actual sales up from about 4.6 million units in 2011 to nearly 7.8 million in 2020. Ford Explorer owners report a 56 percent increase in off-road use over the last three years. Timberline will give customers more confidence and capability to get to their next adventure, whether it’s driving to their favorite fishing site or taking a detour off the beaten path.

The second key trend is data showing that people now participate in more outdoor activities and adventures than before the pandemic. Forty percent of all Americans surveyed say they have spent more time outdoors since the pandemic began.

Off-road credibility

For Explorer Timberline, its ability to handle off-road terrain starts with Ford’s standard intelligent four-wheel drive. This system automatically adjusts torque between the wheels based on conditions and driver inputs to deliver the best traction – providing pre-emptive torque before wheel slip occurs.

A new addition for Explorer Timberline is a Torsen® limited-slip rear differential, which automatically sends torque to the wheel with the best traction and prevents the other wheel from spinning to help keep the vehicle moving.

A standard Terrain Management System features seven drive modes – including Trail and Deep Snow/Sand – that drivers can opt for based on road or trail conditions. Standard Hill Descent Control allows the Explorer Timberline to maintain a constant speed between 2 and 12 mph, enabling drivers to focus on steering down uneven descents.

Explorer Timberline delivers on capability in the form of its standard steel skid plates. The underbody protection starts underneath the front, continues under the engine and transmission and through the rear – all to help protect key components and give customers more confidence while off-roading. Steering calibration, stabilizer bars and springs are specially tuned for Timberline – including an exclusive front rebound spring that helps prevent sudden jarring off-road.

Explorer Timberline raises the ride height 0.8 inch, thanks to a combination of more robust, off-road-capable heavy-duty shocks – originally developed for Explorer Police Interceptor – and high-sidewall Bridgestone Dueler P265/65R-18 all-terrain tires with a tread pattern that balances off-road traction and on-road quietness. This, along with unique front and rear fascias, results in an approach angle of 23.5 degrees and maximum departure angle of 23.7 degrees, plus minimum ground clearance of 8.7 inches for navigating unpaved roads and uneven trails.

Explorer Timberline features a 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine producing 300 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. For customers who need to tow RVs, ATVs and boats to their adventures, the standard Class III Trailer Tow Package brings 5,300 pounds of towing capability.

Bolder, more capable appearance

Explorer Timberline launches in a new Forged Green Metallic exterior color. All models feature blackout treatment around the headlamps and taillamps and a black Ford oval, along with Timberline badges on the C-pillars and liftgate. A set of Red Ember tow hooks at the front are rated at 150 percent gross vehicle weight. Bridgestone Dueler P265/65R-18 all-terrain tires surround high-gloss painted aluminum wheels that feature a laser-etched Timberline logo.

Timberline includes LED fog lamps for illuminating on- and off-road trail edges at night. The dark Carbonized Gray grille has provisions already incorporated along with a wiring harness for dealer-installed Ford Performance auxiliary lights with an output of 160,000 candelas to illuminate nighttime trails, which equates to 2.5 times the brightness of the Explorer Timberline high-beam headlamps. 

A Deep Cypress interior trim color complements Explorer Timberline’s exterior, with an Ebony headliner, overhead console, A, B and C-pillar trim, grab handles, visors and moonroof shade. The cabin features a Stone Mesh instrument panel appliqué, distinctive Satin Silver Twilight on the center stack, steering wheel bezel and door armrest trim, Deep Cypress door trim panel inserts, Deep Tangerine stitching on the seats, steering wheel and door trim, plus Timberline logos on the front seats.

Timberline includes features that help protect the cabin and enhance the ownership experience. Standard rubber floor liners help keep carpet clean during off-road adventures, while ActiveX seat trim with cloth inserts is easy to wipe clean and helps prevent occupants from sliding in the seat over rough terrain. Heated front seats, plus a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel bring added cold-weather comfort.

Timberline boasts standard Co-Pilot360 and Co-Pilot360 Assist+ technology features that include Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Speed Sign Recognition, Lane Centering, Evasive Steering Assist and voice-activated touch screen navigation. A standard 360-degree camera provides a view of obstacles around the vehicle, while a front camera offers a view that’s useful when cresting a hill off-road.

Customize for your adventure

No matter what the adventure, Ford offers three Outfitters packages – Outfitters SkyBox, Outfitters MegaWarrior and Outfitters FrontLoader. All three packages combine all-weather floor mats, crossbars and the selected Yakima rooftop accessories for customers to take even more equipment with them on their next adventure.

The 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline is available to order now and arrives at Ford dealers this summer. 

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