FordPass Connect Arrives in South Africa, Leading Ford’s Connectivity Push for Enhanced Customer Experience
- FordPass Connect has arrived in South Africa, now fitted as standard on all Ford Ranger XL, XLS, XLT, Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor models – as well as the new Ranger FX4
- When the FordPass Connect modem and FordPass app are paired, the ‘connected car’ experience enables key features including Remote Lock/Unlock, Remote Start (automatic vehicles only), Vehicle Status and Remote Vehicle Monitoring, Vehicle Locator and Vehicle Health Alerts
- FordPass smartphone app significantly enhances the ownership experience, with easy access to key vehicle information including warranty details and owner manual, Roadside Assistance, and online service booking
- FordPass app also compatible with Ranger models produced from 2017, providing selected vehicle, warranty and maintenance details, as well as the available search functions for dealers, fuel stations and parking
PRETORIA, South Africa, 23 February 2021 – Ford Ranger customers in South Africa now have access to an enhanced ownership experience with the introduction of FordPass Connect on all new XL, XLS, XLT, Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor models from February 2021 production – as well as the newly launched Ranger FX4.
FordPass Connect makes life simpler and easier and, as Ford South Africa’s best-selling vehicle – which is locally produced at the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria – it is the first to offer this innovative technology as standard. All Rangers equipped with FordPass Connect are fitted with an embedded modem at no additional cost that pairs with the FordPass smartphone app to unlock a range of new connected services.
“Connectivity is the cornerstone of our mission to deliver smart vehicles for a smart world, and FordPass Connect and the FordPass app allows us to bring smart, simple-to-use real-world technologies into the hands of Ranger owners and their families, significantly enhancing their ownership experience,” says Neale Hill, MD of Ford South Africa.
“FordPass builds on Ford’s legacy of democratising class-defining technologies, starting with the first-generation SYNC® infotainment system with voice control, through to the latest SYNC®3 with Navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all XLT models upwards,” Hill says. “This has been bolstered by an extensive range of driver assistance features on the Ranger that were previously the domain of the premium passenger car segment.”
From the first iteration of the current-generation Ranger, it has been the benchmark in the pickup segment for active and passive safety, with the Wildtrak being equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Aid and Lane Keep Assist, Trailer Sway Control, along with Semi-Auto Parallel Park Assist. ABS brakes have been fitted standard across the range, and Electronic Stability Programme, Hill Descent Control (4x4 derivatives) and Hill Launch Assist are included on all but the Base models.
“Our adoption of advanced technologies is being accelerated by extensive investment in autonomous and electric vehicles. This is carried through to our manufacturing operations, most notably following the recent announcement of Ford’s R15.8-billion investment in high-tech upgrades and new automated facilities at the Silverton Assembly Plant for the next-generation Ranger, which we expect to once again set the benchmark in its segment,” Hill says.
“We’re taking the next step on the path towards enhanced connectivity and mobility with the launch of FordPass Connect and the FordPass app, which reinforces our commitment to delivering an improved customer experience throughout the ownership journey,” Hill adds. “This is backed up by our focus on producing vehicles of the highest quality, delivering exceptional after-sales service and providing a suite of customer support and engagement initiatives that truly embrace each owner as part of the Ford family.”
FordPass Connect is seamlessly paired with the existing vehicle infotainment systems – including the entry-level SYNC®1 system on XL models through to the mid-level Connected Touch Radio (CTR) eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, or the fully-featured SYNC®3 with Navigation that is fitted as standard on the high-series models.
“Whether you’re a young family, small business or simply appreciate the convenience, FordPass Connect and the FordPass app can really make so many day-to-day tasks easier, helping our customers get the best out of owning a Ford Ranger and truly Live The Ranger Life,” explains Doreen Mashinini, General Manager of Marketing at Ford South Africa.
“From remote starting your Ranger to locking or unlocking it from anywhere in the world, or accessing key vehicle information and support services, FordPass Connect truly defines a new era for Ranger in South Africa,” Mashinini says.
Other than the usage of mobile data for the user’s smartphone, there are no data costs associated with the FordPass Connect modem, which connects to the cloud via the 4G mobile network.
An unlimited number of users can be authorised via the FordPass app and FordPass Connect, who can then perform command and control functionality and see relevant vehicle data on their own smartphone device. The command/control functions such as Remote Start and Stop are deactivated while the vehicle is in use.
FordPass: connectivity at your fingertips
When used together, the key features of the FordPass app and FordPass Connect include command and control functionality, key vehicle information, online resources and links to emergency roadside assistance.
- Vehicle Status and Remote Vehicle Monitoring: Through the FordPass app’s Vehicle Status feature, owners can check their vehicle’s key variables including fuel level and oil status, tyre pressures (where the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is fitted on the Wildtrak) and mileage through the convenience of their smartphone.
- Remote Start and Stop (automatic models only): Using the FordPass app, drivers can start their vehicle’s engine from home, the office or elsewhere via smartphone, enabling the vehicle’s cabin to commence heating or cooling to the last used setting. This helps ensure a cool, comfortable interior on a hot summer day, or a de-iced, warmed and inviting vehicle in winter. The vehicle is automatically locked when remote starting. It can only be driven once the driver inserts the ignition key, or presses the ‘Start’ button with the proximity key in the vehicle. A scheduled start can also be programmed for a predetermined time via the FordPass app, and can be configured to repeat on selected days throughout the week.
- Remote Lock and Unlock: Drivers can lock and unlock their Ford remotely, meaning they don’t have to rush back to their cars to check if they have remembered to lock their doors. This also allows drivers to let passengers into their vehicle regardless of whether they are there or not.
- Vehicle Locator: Courtesy of a map and location tracker in the FordPass app, drivers can find their way back to their vehicle in a busy parking area without the need to remember exactly where they parked it. This is even more convenient where you share your vehicle with one or more members of your household.
- Vehicle Health Alerts: The FordPass app capability extends to Vehicle Health Alerts, which can be sent directly to a smart device pre-empting service needs, general maintenance such as a low washer fluid alert, and more. The alert is designed to identify specific issues and even recommend a course of action.
- Map and Search: Through the FordPass app, customers have access to an extensive range of search options, including Ford dealers, fuel stations, available parking, entertainment, coffee shops and travel destinations such as hotels and lodges.
- Maintenance Schedule: All key vehicle information is available in the FordPass app, including the vehicle identification number (VIN), new vehicle warranty (including start date for the four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty), Ford Protect Plan (with expiry date and end distance for the six-year/90 000km service plan). The owner can also check the upcoming service intervals, and schedule a service at their preferred dealer with the app linking to the www.myfordjourney.co.za website the facilitate this process.
- Roadside Assistance: Throughout the FordPass app, customers have instant access to call Ford’s 24-hour emergency Roadside Assistance, which is valid for a period of three years/unlimited distance, and is provided by the Automobile Association (AA).
- Vehicle Support: The app provides extensive additional resources for customers, including how-to videos explaining features and technologies in the Ranger, digital Owner’s Manual, and an Alerts Guide addressing a number of issues such as water in fuel, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) warning, and numerous other warning messages.
- FordPass Guide: When you need help, a friendly FordPass Guide is there to offer one-on-one assistance via phone or e-mail, directly from the app.
- Over-the-air updates: FordPass Connect enables over-the-air (OTA) modem software updates seamlessly via the embedded modem to keep the vehicle current with new technology, performance and safety by wirelessly delivering new features and quality enhancements – without requiring a visit to a dealer or service centre.
The FordPass app is also compatible with Ranger models produced from 2017, providing selected vehicle, warranty and maintenance information, as well as the available search functions for dealers, fuel stations and parking. However, without the FordPass Connect modem (which cannot be retro-fitted), none of the location, command or control functions are available.
Data use and privacy
Connected vehicle information is associated with the vehicle's unique identification number (or 'VIN'). The vehicle is delivered from the factory with the FordPass Connect mode in a partially activated state, and automatically sends data to Ford’s servers via the 4G mobile network. This is limited to diagnostic information, warning indicator lights, and maintenance data such as oil life and engine temperature.
Customers have the option of keeping the modem in the partially activated state, or fully activating the unit to deliver the optimal user experience. This requires downloading the FordPass app for Android or iOS devices, adding the VIN and activating the vehicle. In this mode, the FordPass Connect model also sends driving usage data and vehicle location information. Ford is responsible for all data collection, which is stored in both the company’s servers and third-party cloud service providers, including Microsoft and IBM, located in the United States.
The vehicle data is accessed under strict rules by Ford’s engineers and technical staff, for the purpose of diagnosing and developing repairs to vehicles in service and to improve future designs. To anonymise vehicle data, Ford’s Global Data team ‘tokenises’ or ‘separates’ VINs from the stored information.
The modem can be deactivated via the infotainment system should the customer wish to turn off all data transmission, in which case none of the FordPass and Connected features will be functional.
Customers can access additional information on FordPass Connect at www.ford.co.za/fordpass or by downloading the FordPass app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
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