Ford Brings 4G LTE, Other Features to Older Models
This year, Ford will enable connectivity features such as 4G LTE Wi-Fi and smartphone control on older vehicles without modems. Dubbed FordPass SmartLink, the upgrade includes a device that plugs into the OBD II port below the steering wheel.
Owners of 2010-2017 Ford vehicles are eligible for the upgrade. With the feature, drivers can lock the car doors, start the engine, and control other functions right from their smartphones. You can also access vehicle health, security, and location alerts. Wi-Fi connectivity is provided by Verizon, so you’ll have to set up an account if you haven’t already.
“Vehicle connectivity has improved at a rapid rate in recent years,” said Frederiek Toney, president of Global Ford Customer Service Division, in a statement. “We believe offering an affordable way for our customers to upgrade their older-model vehicles to include more modern technology will improve their ownership experience for years to come.”
Upgrading your older Ford with these connectivity features will require $16.99 a month, which covers the cost of the device, remote key fob capability, and vehicle alerts during a period of 24 months. Installation fees are not included, and neither is data. But those who sign up will receive a free trial of Verizon 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with 30 days of data or 1 gigabyte, whichever comes first.
FordPass SmartLink will be available through Ford dealerships nationwide starting mid-2018. By the end of 2019, all new Ford vehicles sold in the U.S. will have 4G LTE connectivity.