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Built-in Modem Keeps Passengers and Kids Connected and Entertained on the Road with Wi Fi in the Car

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  • Ford to offer built-in modem with Wi-Fi powered by Vodafone in Ford vehicles in Europe
  • Built-in modem improves connection speed for movies, games, music and more on the road
  • FordPass app will enable drivers to remotely lock/unlock doors, check fuel and locate car
  • Connected vehicles can help avoid traffic jams, automatically call emergency services

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 27, 2017 – “Are we nearly there yet?” could become “Are we there already?” as harassed parents will soon be able to keep the kids amused by letting them stream and download movies, games and music on the road.

Ford has partnered with Vodafone to bring 4G LTE connectivity to vehicles in Europe via the new FordPass Connect built-in modem and Wi‑Fi hotspot capability. Incorporating an external aerial, the Wi-Fi hotspot enables up to 10 devices to connect to the network at once. This will enable passengers to surf the internet with improved connectivity. *

Together with FordPass Connect, the FordPass app will enable drivers to remotely lock and unlock their car doors from virtually anywhere in the world; and check information including fuel and oil levels, tyre pressure, battery life, the odometer, whether the alarm is sounding and the vehicle’s location on a map. The Live Traffic feature will offer drivers real-time updates and re‑route them away from congestion.

“The future of mobility is enabled by connectivity, connectivity between you and the vehicle, between your smartphone and vehicle, and between the vehicle and its surroundings,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. “With FordPass Connect, our SYNC platform is transitioning from being device-centric to become cloud-connected. FordPass Connect with Wi-Fi powered by Vodafone lets kids watch movies, listen to music or even do homework while travelling; and people working from the road can easily access corporate resources from wherever they are.”

Across Europe, connectivity is more important than ever. In the U.K., 33 percent of children under five now have their own tablet. ** From 2014 to 2015, the number of Europeans paying for streamed TV and film content increased by 400 percent, *** while streaming music is expected to surpass music downloads by next year.

Ford made the announcement at Mobile World Congress, the world's largest gathering for the mobile industry.

“Vodafone and Ford have worked together for over a decade.  Now we are addressing drivers’ and passengers’ expectations of staying connected to the rest of their digital world while in their vehicles,” said Ivo Rook, director, Internet of Things, Vodafone. “The range of services that a robust, secure connection can bring to the consumer is growing every day, from information on the health of your car and alerts on traffic conditions to passengers streaming movies to enjoy on long journeys.  Ford and Vodafone are creating more opportunities for customers to live a smarter and more connected life.” 

The company will use Vodafone’s global SIM and Internet of Things platform to bring enhanced safety, security, diagnostic and infotainment services to Ford vehicles across Europe and ensure compliance with strict new EU regulations.

Since 2012, Ford vehicles have offered Emergency Assistance through the SYNC connectivity system. In the event of an accident where the airbag has deployed or fuel shut off has occurred, this technology utilises a Bluetooth paired and connected mobile phone to help vehicle occupants initiate a direct call to Emergency Services in the correct language for the region, alerting first responders with the vehicle location.

Ford will now build on that capability by leveraging the built-in modem to provide eCall service which can automatically dial emergency services after an accident, communicating vehicle location and enabling emergency call takers to infer whether the driver is conscious or not.* Ford will continue to offer Emergency Assistance for vehicles not equipped with FordPass Connect.

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* To take advantage of the built-in Wi-Fi hotspot capability, a 2018 Ford vehicle must come with the appropriate hardware, and a wireless service plan is required. Data coverage and service is not available everywhere and terms of your wireless plan, including applicable data rates, may apply. Message and data rates may apply. The technology will be made available on select Ford vehicles, starting in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K.

** Already available in France, Germany and the U.K., and launching in Italy and Spain later this year,

** http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/nursery-world/news/1158974/rise-in-number-of-pre-school-children-with-their-own-tablets

*** https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/documents/11370/71142/Technology+is+Culture+infographic/f9efef67-d844-4380-90bb-04a1f3ac796c

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 201,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. To expand its business model, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility. Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.  For more information regarding Ford and its products and services, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

 

Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 52,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 68,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (16 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and 8 unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.

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Borbala Nagy

Smart Mobility Communications Manager

44 739 376 0241
bnagy12@ford.com

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