In new seamless over-the-air updates, Ford will improve its Sync 4 infotainment system, providing a CarPlay update to two car models and an Alexa update to hundreds of thousands more.
The CarPlay update takes place “over the coming weeks” in the F150 and the Mustang Mach-E. It lets CarPlay display turn-by-turn directions in the vehicle’s instrument cluster.
The wider-ranging update regards Alexa. Previously, Ford users needed a phone app to use Alexa in the car but now it will be embedded in the vehicle so no app and no button is required.
Users can simply ask Alexa to play a certain song or get traffic updates or place calls. They can also ask Alexa to turn on the lights in the living room while in the car. The feature is free for the first three years but fees may apply after that.
The takeaway here is that Ford plans to offer more frequent over-the-air updates through its embedded Power-Up software and we can expect more of them will improve the infotainment system. Some updates will be completely seamless and some will require system reboots that the user can schedule them overnight.
Ford said its updates are “making millions of Ford vehicles better over time.”
“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,” said Ford Director of Business Operations, Enterprise Connectivity, Alex Purdy.
The F150, Bronco, Edge Mustang Mac-E and Super Duty models will be first in line for the Alexa update. Millions of vehicles will offer the feature in the future.
Ford owners can still ask Alexa from their home to remotely start or stop the engine, lock and unlock doors, and check vehicle range or tire pressure (with an app required in this case).
Ford has a six-year deal with Amazon in the most extensive use of Alexa in vehicles to date.
See more here.