Ford Unveils MyFord Mobile App to Remotely Monitor and Control Plug-in Cars

By · January 06, 2011

MyFord Mobile

Ahead of the company's official unveil of the Focus Electric at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas tomorrow, Ford has unveiled the MyFord Mobile app. The new app will allow future owners of the Focus Electric—and all future Ford Plug-ins—to remotely monitor such things as battery status, estimated range remaining, and charging progress as well as control grid-powered pre-heating/cooling and set charging schedules.

Ford says the new app is part of an overall strategy to make electric car ownership as convenient and simple as possible. Using either the MyFord Mobile app on a smartphone or a web interface, owners can monitor and control the vehicle from virtually anywhere—anywhere both the car and owner have internet connectivity that is. In addition to monitoring charge levels and pre-heating/cooling the vehicle using grid power, the MyFord Mobile app can help plan single and multi-stop journeys and locate charging stations using a MapQuest database.

“We’re putting battery charge and vehicle range information, along with an interactive, data-driven trip planning app right at customers’ fingertips,” said Ed Pleet, Ford's Connected Services Manager, in a statement. “That’s going to get drivers involved and excited about the electric car ownership experience.”

MyFord Mobile

In many regions of the world, utilities are moving to time-of-day charging rates for electricity—meaning that electricity will be cheaper during off-peak times such as late at night. Using software from Microsoft, along with cooperation from your local utility, the MyFord Mobile app can help you plan charging schedules based on when electricity rates are lowest in your area. In lieu of this smart charging feature, owners can use the app to set up their own charging schedule and continually modify it based on changing needs.

In partnership with MapQuest, MyFord Mobile can locate charging stations and send the destination to the electric vehicle, then start turn-by-turn directions to the station. In addition the app will tell you if you are likely to reach any specific destination, or combination of destinations based on the vehicle's current battery charge.

The app can also send alerts to the owner if charging stops due to the cable being unplugged or similar power interruption, as well as alert the owner once the battery charge reaches a certain level or has accumulated enough range to reach a certain destination. Other functions of the app include remotely unlocking and locking the doors, locating the car via GPS, installing software upgrades, and plotting your driving achievements—such as overall efficiency—then sharing them on Facebook and Twitter.

MyFord Mobile

MyFord Mobile will be available on Blackberry, Android and iPhone OSes at launch later this year, and will also have a mobile phone formatted website to allow other smartphones to use the system. The app and the vehicle will communicate with a cloud-based server to coordinate everything, and Ford plug-in vehicles will ship with embedded wireless capability—much like the Nissan LEAF and its CARWINGS system.

Comments

· JoKo (not verified) · 7 years ago

"Wireless capability".As far as I know Ford so far used the internet connectivity of the driver's bluetooth or, with the latest Sync-system,wifi mobile device.So the car itself had no own internet connectivity.Ford used mobile network units in its BEV test fleet,but now I wonder if all Focus BEV ship with their own 2G/3G internet connectivity that does not make use of the customers mobile device.... which takes me to the next question:Who pays for the plan?Nissan includes 5 years,so does Chevy, both equipped with mobile network connectivity,not just wifi.After that,it remains unknown how much the owner will have to pay to continue the service.Does anyone know more about this?

· · 7 years ago

While this seems like a nice feature for the connected crowd, I wonder if the new challenge for hackers will be to hijack EV control programs and trash the software? (I have visions of having to reboot the car before being able to drive it!) I trust that this feature can be turned off and the charging control initiated from the vehicle itself.

As one of the microscopic minority who doesn't own a cellphone and has no plans to ever do so, I am unwilling to pay for subscription fees for connectivity. WiFi signals from the car to my home computer might be nice but I doubt they could get through the walls of my concrete and steel house, so I'd have to come up with some sort of workaround.

· · 7 years ago

JoKo, good questions and I'll ask them of Ford, Nissan and GM execs while I'm in Detroit next week for the auto show.

dgpCO, RE: hacking; this is an issue I think all automakers are dealing with as the connected car concept picks up steam. And I'm not sure they have answers to it either. I'll ask that while I'm in Detroit too. As for opting in to the service—I'm sure that's the way it will work, given that they won't want to restrict sales based on requiring a service and I'm not sure it's legal anyways. In the LEAF and Volt, the service is free in the beginning, but you can still opt out. You will then have the option of opting out at the end of the free trial too.

· JJJ (not verified) · 7 years ago

Looks nice, but it did bring up one negative side.... Everybody knows that cell phone batteries barely last the 2 years of a contract. I wonder if tying cell phones to the car like this will make people question just how long the car battery will last before it needs to be plugged in 3 times a day.

· JoKo (not verified) · 7 years ago

Thanx, Nick. Regarding GM, I assume they will charge the regular OnStar-fees after the 5 years. In Japan, the Carwings-System from Nissan costs some $40/year. I think this would be a pretty reasonable price, compared to $299/year for an OnStar-Contract....

· · 1 year ago

For what we reason I lost the ability to start, lock unlock via my phone but not my watch. Similarly the value charge setting, while telling my anticipated completion time, did not charge my vehicle at all. I would like if you could skip that setting and allow for timed charges. I would also like if I could make permanent push notifications for charge completion and a change in go time/ i.e. If I want to remote start take me to a pre start page where I can change the climate. You can download the app from http://tutuappvipdownload.com

· · 47 weeks ago

I would like if you could skip that setting and allow for timed charges. I would also like if I could make permanent push notifications for charge completion and a change in go time/ i.e. If I want to remote start take me to a pre start page where I can change the climate. Tutuapp helps alot for that.

· · 39 weeks ago

Wonderfull keep sharing Awesome post really appreciating TutuApp features

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