DEARBORN – The MyFord® Mobile app aims to make driving a new Focus Electric from Ford as hassle-free as it is green by adding several industry-first features. The remote vehicle monitoring and management features that are available only through MyFord Mobile will be honored with the 2012 International CES Innovation Design and Engineering Award.
“MyFord Mobile is designed to help Focus Electric drivers maximize their gasoline-free driving in a worry-free, low-effort way,” said Bill Frykman, Product & Business Development, Ford Connected Services. “Drivers can take advantage of information stored off-board to automatically charge their cars at the lowest possible cost and reduce range anxiety with plug-to-plug route planning.”
The MyFord Mobile app harnesses the power of cloud computing through a unique partnership with Microsoft, to keep track of when local utilities switch to lower off-peak charging rates, helping to minimize the cost of ownership of the battery-powered Focus Electric.
Drivers just need to enable a single setting in the app and then plug in their cars without ever worrying about what time the rates change in their area. The network monitors utility rate schedules and automatically transmits a signal to the vehicle through embedded cellular connectivity to start charging at the lowest cost. “With its quick 3 to 4 hour charge time using a 240-volt home charging station installed by Best Buy, the Focus Electric will be ready to go when the owner heads out in the morning,” said Frykman.
The capabilities of the network also enable drivers to plan customized trips using navigation data from Mapquest. Drivers can use the app to find charging stations, estimate whether they can reach a station with the currently available charge, and create multi-stop, plug-to-plug journeys for their daily driving needs.
The vehicle connectivity module and app also provide the driver with alerts when charging is complete or if charging is interrupted due to being unplugged or a power outage. The vehicle interior can be preheated or cooled while still plugged in using power from the grid to maximize driving range.
“We want to give Focus Electric drivers the opportunity to maximize the EV ownership experience,” said Frykman. “We’re honored CES has recognized our efforts to use the latest connectivity and cloud technology to augment the capabilities of the car to promote greener driving.”
The MyFord Mobile app will be available for use on most major smartphone platforms including Android, BlackBerry and iPhone. The same capabilities can also be accessed through a mobile web app for other platforms and a secure Ford website from any Internet-connected computer.