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.

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