is making it easy for drivers to initially configure the all-electric SUV. On Friday, the company announced it's introducing a new Remote Vehicle Setup function on this amped-up pony, a first for the automaker.
"It allows them to personalize their vehicle [even] before taking delivery," Erika Raia, Ford's global EV digital experience manager, said during a video conference. Customers can do this remotely, either via the FordPass app on their smartphone or on a separate website. "We call it the bridge to ownership," Raia said.
As soon as the ink on the purchase agreement dries, aowner can start learning about their ride and tweaking it, adding favorite destinations to the navigation system, exploring nearby charging stations, pre-selecting climate-control functions and even scheduling home charging times for when electricity costs are lower. When they collect their new vehicle, these settings get transferred to the car, providing a personalized feel right out of the box. Raia said this is all designed "to get customers really excited about their vehicle."
Beyond all that, "We're working fast and furious on radio presets," said Raia, something that's not supported just yet. When implemented, this feature will work with AM, FM and SiriusXM bands. Setup information is delivered to the vehicle over cellular data and everything is encrypted from end to end for maximum security.
Ford's new Remote Vehicle Setup is intended for the initial ownership phase, both for familiarizing a driver with the new Mach-E and allowing them to customizing their car. This could be particularly useful if someone has never owned an electric car before. Other functions like power seat settings, Phone as Key setup and side-view mirror adjustments are all handled in the vehicle, not via Remote Vehicle Setup.
Echoing what Raia said, Natalie Holoday, Ford's electric vehicle product manager, noted, "This feature is really unique and exciting … because it is available before delivery," a major selling point. She explained, 87% of women would prefer to set their new vehicle up at home rather than rushing through the process at a dealership.
For now, Remote Vehicle Setup will only be offered on the Ford Mustang Mach-E, "But the goal is certainly to roll it out across other vehicles," Raia noted, though she could not comment on which products it would come to next. But you've got to think Ford will introduce this on all its redesigned vehicles going forward, making that newa likely recipient. Oh, and the family, too.
In the US, at least, Ford Mustang Mach-E deliveries are slated to begin toward the end of this year, so look for these electrified ponies at dealerships then. Customers will be able to start customizing their Mach-E's around three to four weeks before taking delivery.