Ford’s first next-gen EV, the Mustang Mach-E, was released with attached ambitions. With the companies entry into electrification, Ford sought the opportunity to begin the transition towards modern-day software as well.
Alongside heaps of technological improvements and additions, the Mustang Mach-E came with the introduction of OTA software updates dubbed Ford Power-Ups. The company strives to focus on software innovation but the rollout has been dragged. With us now over seven months into the release of this EV, the promised software updates have fallen into the lackluster category, primarily consisting of minor bug fixes.
Up Ford’s sleeve is the small backlog of planned feature additions. BlueCruise, Ford’s Level 2 advanced driving assistance system, best compared with Tesla’s past Enhanced Autopilot offerings, is set to be released via OTA later this year. The company has also planned Alexa integration and in-car gaming for future Mustang Mach-E software updates.
Unlike other manufactures using OTA capabilities for minor changes and bug fixes, Ford looks to follow in Tesla’s path with continuous improvements to the vehicle ownership experience.
Yes and Yes. First one coming soon.
— Jim Farley (@jimfarley98) January 24, 2021
In order to test new features, Ford has introduced their own Early Access Program. Those in the program have been testing the companies latest features since June. Ford’s first update was seen way back in March but the company is now ready for another.
Ford Power-Up 1.4.0
Ford’s latest software update, version 1.4.0, will be split in two. The first phase of the update will include minor bug fixes and refinements while the second will introduce an all-new security feature, SecuriAlert.
SecuriAlert links with the FordPass app to notify owners whenever a door, trunk, tailgate or hood is unlocked or left opened, even if done so with the owners own keyfob.
Ford is not the first to focus software updates on enhanced security measures. Tesla’s Dashcam feature has been a fan favorite since release. With Ford’s commitment to keeping cars up-to-date in the innovation department, this looks like the first step of many for the company.
Unlike Tesla, Ford’s software updates can be automatically implemented without the vehicle stopped and in Park. Instead, Mustang Mach-E owners have the freedom to drive while their updates download and install in the background. Ford does note future larger updates could see a standard WiFi connection as a requirement.
The Mustang Mach-E is not the only Ford to receive this Power-Up. The 2021 F-150 and Ford Edge will also be among the vehicles receiving this security update. Ford expects this update to be fully rolled out by the end of July.
The next update under the 1.X versioning should include Sketch, a drawing pad and notes taker. After that, the next big software update, 2.X is scheduled for Q3 and will include BluCruise. 3.X is scheduled to begin in Q4, so it seems Ford is looking to speed up deployment.