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The most convenient features of FordPass are now free

Similar functions at rival OnStar cost $14.99 per month.

FordPass app
Control your Ford until your heart's content -- for free now!

The experience of an automobile extends past the actual vehicle itself these days. Connectivity, apps and smart functions involving Google, Apple and Amazon have given automakers a whole new world to take advantage of, and Ford is making some of the most convenient connectivity features totally free.

FordPass, which Ford owners can use to control numerous vehicle functions from a phone, will now feature free connected services. Remote-starting the car, unlocking it and even scheduling maintenance are now part of a free service for cars that feature the FordPass Connect system.

Making the service complimentary certainly improves cars' connectivity. What could be considered the poster child for connected services, General Motors' OnStar brand, offers the same connected services, but they're unlocked with a plan that costs $14.99 per month.

FordPass was previously a service offered via one-, two- and five-year subscriptions, though the Wi-Fi hotspot function will not be a complimentary feature. Also, connected service functions need to rely on AT&T network availability.

All Ford models today also offer standard 911 Assist, which pairs with a driver's cell phone to automatically dial 911 should an airbag deploy. The system provides GPS coordinates to help first responders as well. As one final bonus, anyone who starts using FordPass becomes a part of FordPass Rewards. Owners and lessees can earn points to use toward maintenance.

Be sure a particular Ford model's trim level is equipped with FordPass Connect before trying to take advantage of the free services. The vast majority of Ford vehicles feature the system, but some base models may not offer the technology. Otherwise, it's a happy day for Ford owners.

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