Ford announces OTA updates for the Mustang MACH-E with no waiting
Ford says that its all-electric Mustang Mach-E will be able to receive over-the-air (OTA) updates that work to continuously improve the SUV over the vehicle’s life. Owners will reportedly not have to wait while a software update takes place because the company says it has developed a way to allow secure updates to download in the background, and in some cases, be completed in under two minutes. (The company adds that while all updates can be activated in under two minutes, some updates may still require the vehicle to be parked with an update scheduled for a time that is convenient for the owner.)
“The beauty of the Mustang Mach-E is that what our customers experience on day one is just the beginning—it will evolve to add even more features and capabilities over time,” said John Vangelov, Connected Services Manager, Ford Motor Company. “Our clever over-the-air updates also minimize downtime through incredibly fast activation and ensure your Mustang Mach-E is always getting better, even when you’re asleep.”
The company says the improvements go beyond its SYNC updates. Nearly all Mustang Mach-E computer modules can be updated wirelessly, meaning the automaker can provide performance enhancements and entirely new features that might not exist when customers first take delivery of their vehicles.
Some installations will be virtually invisible to customers, who can select a regular time for updates while their vehicle is parked. Many updates will reportedly be completed almost instantly after a customer starts their vehicle, while in-vehicle alerts will tell them what improvements have been installed. The company says many can be completed in under two minutes, and more complex updates that might require the vehicle to be parked for longer can be scheduled to take place when customers find it most convenient.
The automaker expects to deliver its first updates within six months after the first of these vehicles are in the hands of customers. Owners will receive notifications detailing software updates when they are available, which can then be applied using either Wi-Fi or cellular connections, depending on the update.
The automaker adds that, starting in 2020, it will begin equipping most redesigned vehicles in the U.S. with advanced over-the-air update capability for quick and easy wireless upgrades that can help enhance quality, capability, and improve the ownership experience over time, while reducing dealer trips.
Ford pressing ahead during pandemic
To ensure the vehicle launches with this advanced capability as planned, the company’s engineering team has reportedly found new ways to develop and test over-the-air updates in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Previously, teams would have to get together in the same physical space to access all the different vehicle modules needed to test over-the-air capabilities—but work-from-home requirements mean engineers needed to think fast to change the way they operate.
The team set up remote access to all of the vehicle modules, even wiring them with tools enabling engineers to quickly reprogram modules from their homes. What initially took five hours to program remotely, the automaker says can now be done in under 10 minutes.
“By quickly implementing remote access to our vehicle components, we’re ensuring our Mustang Mach-E customers can enjoy the great capabilities they’ve been looking forward to from the start, while providing the accommodations our engineers need to continue innovating from the safety of their homes,” said Vangelov.
For more information, visit corporate.ford.com.