Electric vehicle owners can plug in and walk away from their vehicles while staying connected, thanks to the new MyFord Mobile app being introduced exclusively with the all-new Ford Focus Electric (see our separate story at eurotuner.com).
The unique MyFord Mobile technology provides Focus Electric owners with a powerful tool to stay connected, monitor and control their vehicle.
Via a smartphone or a secure website, MyFord Mobile allows Focus Electric owners to plan trips, monitor the vehicle's state of charge, receive various alerts for vehicle charging, as well as provides several other features designed to simplify the electric vehicle ownership experience.
MyFord Mobile uses an on-board wireless module integrated into Focus Electric that allows the car to communicate off-board via standard cellular technology or internet to:
• Find current and projected state of charge information including estimated range and the amount of charge time necessary for additional distances
• Program vehicle charging with utility input, allowing the car to start charging when electricity prices are lowest with the value charging feature, powered by Microsoft
Using features powered by MapQuest the system can:
• Locate charging stations and have the destination sent to the vehicle
• Know if the vehicle can reach a specific charge station with the current charge
• Create a journey with multiple stops, and determine the likelihood that the car has adequate charge for the full journey
• Find the car by creating a route from a mobile phone to the vehicle
• Receive alerts if the vehicle isn't charging when scheduled, or if charging stops unexpectedly due to a power outage, plug removal, etc
• Receive recharge alerts when the vehicle has reached a preset charge level or has the ability to reach a particular destination
• Engage remote vehicle pre-conditioning, using grid power to heat or cool the battery and vehicle interior
• Remotely lock/unlock doors
• Use the built-in GPS system to locate the car
• Download performance and system data
• Receive information personalized to the driver, depending on which key the driver used
How the system works
At launch, the MyFord Mobile app will be available for most major smartphones, including BlackBerry, Android and iPhone, along with a mobile web application for compatibility with any phone supporting HTML-5 browser-based access, or phones with WAP 2.0-supported browsers. The feature is also accessible via a secure Ford website.
Owners will use the smartphone to communicate with a secure server, which stores information provided by an embedded wireless module in Focus Electric.
MyFord Mobile is a primary feature in the suite of tools Focus Electric owners will have to help them manage the recharge process and involve them directly.
They will engage with a version of MyFord Touch, the Ford driver connect technology, which is being introduced across the all-new Focus family, designed exclusively for electric vehicle owners. The MyFord Touch system in Focus Electric adds an impressive layer of electric vehicle operation information on top of the broader MyFord Touch functionality.
The unique implementation of MyFord Touch offers configurability of vehicle information including battery state of charge, range budget, distance to charge point and expected range surplus. The cluster's MyView option allows drivers to access even more vehicle data such as the electrical demands of vehicle accessories including air conditioning, which can impact driving range.
Working with the charge station manufacturers and MapQuest, Ford will provide Focus Electric owners with the most current, comprehensive charging station information in the country. That information is accessed via MyFord Mobile and can then be communicated to Focus Electric using SYNC's Traffic, Directions and Information Service (TDI) when the vehicle is stationary.
Once SYNC TDI receives a charging station location from MyFord Mobile, turn-by-turn guidance is provided by the in-car map-based Navigation System. In the vehicle, drivers also can get charging station information directly through SYNC TDI simply by connecting to SYNC Services using voice commands.
Additional elements of the ownership experience include a new value charging feature powered by Microsoft that lowers cost of ownership by allowing customers to recharge their vehicles at off-peak or at other reduced rates from their utility through an uncomplicated "set it and forget it" approach.