At the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2017), in Barcelona, Ford announces a partnership with Vodafone to integrate connectivity via a 4G modem in all its vehicles from 2018.
The connection will be via a 4G LTE modem integrated in the vehicles, which will capture the GSM network and convert it into a WiFi hotspot for passengers. What’s new compared to a good old smartphone set in connection sharing will you tell me? One important point: since the modem is integrated into the car, it is connected to an external antenna offering a better connection than a phone enclosed in Faraday cage mode.
The modem will hold up to ten simultaneous connections. This new feature will first be available in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Unfortunately it will only be offered on new vehicles. It is not planned to update Ford Sync for current vehicles since it is a hardware layout, even on a vehicle purchased new in 2017. After a free trial period of three months, The data connection will be tied to a monthly fee the amount of which has not yet been disclosed.
An application to control your car remotely
To accompany this evolution, Ford will make its FordPass Connect application (already available in the US) compatible with its modemized cars, which will offer many connected features such as the ability to lock or unlock the car remotely, check fuel levels or other Fluids, tire pressure, battery condition, distance traveled, or the location of the vehicle on a map.
According to Don Butler, Executive Director for Connected Vehicles and Services at Ford in Detroit, the concept of a connected car initially consisted of connecting the driver with his car (via the first version of the Sync app released in 2007 ), Then connect the car to the internet. Today, the challenge is to integrate voice control with services such as Alexa, which means connecting not only the vehicle to the cloud, but also having the clouds interact with each other, namely Ford and the cloud. Of Amazon, while preserving the confidentiality of data and passenger safety.