Owners of the all-new all-electric Mustang Mach-E will be able to receive over-the-air updates that work to continuously improve the SUV over the vehicle’s life without leaving home.
Unlike some vehicles that require owners to wait while a software update takes place, Ford has developed a way to allow secure updates to download in the background, and in some cases, be completed in under two minutes. Nearly all Mustang Mach-E computer modules can be updated wirelessly, meaning Ford can provide performance enhancements and entirely new features that might not exist when customers first take delivery of their vehicles.
Some installations will be virtually invisible to customers, who can select a regular time – such as the middle of the night – for updates while their Mustang Mach-E is parked. Many updates will be completed almost instantly after a customer starts their vehicle, while in-vehicle alerts will tell them what improvements have been installed. Many can be completed in under two minutes, and more complex updates that might require the vehicle to be parked for longer can be scheduled to take place when customers find it most convenient.
Ford expects to deliver its first updates within six months after the first Mustang Mach-E vehicles are in the hands of customers. Owners will receive notifications detailing software updates when they are available, which can then be applied using either Wi-Fi or cellular connections, depending on the update.
Mustang Mach-E is just the start when it comes to this technology. In 2020, Ford will begin equipping most redesigned vehicles in the U.S. with advanced over-the-air update capability for quick and easy wireless upgrades that can help enhance quality, capability and improve the ownership experience over time while reducing dealer trips.
To ensure Mustang Mach-E launches with this advanced capability as planned, Ford’s engineering team has found new ways to develop and test over-the-air updates in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Previously, teams would have to get together in the same physical space to access all the different vehicle modules needed to test over-the-air capabilities – but work-from-home requirements mean engineers needed to think fast to change the way they operate.
The team moved swiftly to set up remote access to all of the vehicle modules, even wiring them with tools enabling engineers to quickly reprogram modules from their homes.