Cars are getting smarter by the day, and now Ford is finally ready to start rolling out over-the-air (OTA) software updates to newer vehicles. Ford says over 100,000 F-150 and Mach-E customers have received their first OTA updates, delivering hands-free Alexa commands, and more vehicles will get them soon.
The program is being called Power-Up by Ford, and this week the automaker confirmed all the details. Updates include an embedded hands-free version of Amazon Alexa for all types of voice commands and BlueCruise, Ford’s active-drive-assist system, to name a few.
Before this, Ford owners had to go to a dealership to get software updates done manually. As a comparison, Tesla and others have offered OTA updates for years, making the experience faster, easier, and more seamless. Now, everything from the F-150, the new Bronco, to the upcoming F-150 Lightning will all get instant and frequent updates.
Thanks to the new Ford Power-Up program, you won’t need the company’s AppLink software to access Alexa in your car. Instead, it’ll work seamlessly and hands-free. Imagine being able to ask Alexa to start your Ford, lock the doors, and turn on the AC this summer. Not to mention saying typical commands like, “Hey Alexa, find the nearest gas station.”
It’s not all rainbows, though. When you accept the “Power-Up OTA” update, it’s only a 3-year trial of these features, and once the trial ends, “fees may apply.”
Ford plans to update approximately 700,000 vehicles in North America by this fall, with more cars in Europe and other parts of the world to follow later. Furthermore, Ford expects “millions” more in the next few years and over 33 million OTA-update capable vehicles by 2028.
In closing, the Detriot automaker confirmed that these updates aren’t just to the digital displays or infotainment system. Ford plans to build out the system to push updates to over 100 different computer modules within the vehicle.