Ford is launching a new app that enables electric vehicle drivers to remotely connect their smartphone with the car to manage charging – and even set a chosen cabin temperature before their journey. Ford announced the launch of MyFord Mobile at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Drivers will be able to use the app and associated website to remotely manage the status of their car, check the range, and plan journeys to include charging.
Taking inspiration from gaming and personal fitness apps, MyFord Mobile shows CO2 savings as exercise balls, or hot-air balloons; reflects the energy efficiency of different driving styles through “Zen” and “Zippy” ratings; and offers tips on how efficiency might be improved.
“MyFord Mobile makes owning an electric vehicle even more convenient. It displays CO2 savings in terms of objects everyone is familiar with, and shows how further energy efficiencies can be achieved in a way that is easily understood,” said Don Butler, executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services, Ford Motor Company. “Electric car drivers want to understand the environmental benefits their vehicle brings, and also to know how they could improve their contribution to help make a better future. MyFord Mobile helps them to do this.”
Supported by a dedicated website and available for iOS and Android, the MyFord Mobile app connects to the car via an on-board modem that sends data directly to a remote server.
As well as informing drivers when they have made CO2 savings equivalent to that required to fill an exercise ball or a hot-air balloon, badges, pop-ups, and alerts also let drivers know when they have reached certain zero-emission distance benchmarks, such as covering a distance equivalent to one round-the-world trip. Personalized feedback advises how range might be improved, for example, by optimizing regenerative braking. Drivers also can track driving habits over time, and monitor how changes in behavior affect energy consumption.
The Go Times feature enables drivers to prepare the car so that it is charged and ready to go with a pre-set cabin temperature, at a specific time and date. Plugged in, it will use energy from the grid, rather than the battery to heat or cool the car. The app uses integrated HERE maps that can help drivers locate their car as well as plan journeys and locate charge stations. Drivers can personalize the app with car name and color, charge profiles, and charge scheduling.
“Through remote interaction with the vehicle, MyFord Mobile enhances convenience and mobility – from supporting drivers to easily plan journeys, to making sure the cabin is just the right temperature from the very moment they step into the car,” Butler said.