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Ford’s Off-Road GPS Software Looks Like A Promising Feature For All Off-Roaders

Image Via Ford.

Prior to the debut of the Ford Bronco, there was some understandable hesitation from long-time fans. Folks were worried that the legendary nameplate would end up stuck to a less-than-stellar SUV, which thankfully is far from the case. The 2021 Ford Bronco not only promises to be a capable off-road machine in the hands of experienced drivers, but also for those who have never set foot on an off-road trail before. In order to ensure that this SUV is widely approachable, the Blue Oval will be rolling out the FordPass Performance App alongside the Bronco. And while we know that this off-road GPS software is supposed to bring data for over 2,000 curated trails right inside the infotainment, we now have some more information as to how it will work.

The information comes by way of Bronco Nation, who had a chance to sit down with Ford’s Senior Product Manager for Navigation Shane Coloney. Coloney has previously worked with Garmin and Navico, and even has a few patents to his name related to marine data collection. That is all to say that he knows a thing or two about how to get where you wanna go. According to the report, the FordPass Performance App for the Bronco starts with high-fidelity map data from AccuTerra. These maps cover the entirety of North America, complete with satellite imagery that can be viewed within the app. All of the 2,000+ aforementioned trails featured in the off-road GPS software have also been mapped by real surveying teams, who helped to craft some of the softwares unique features.

Screenshot of the 2021 Ford Bronco's FordPass Performance App
Image Via Bronco Nation

More specifically, these survey teams were responsible for marking waypoints and obstacles across all of these trails. This data combines with other basic information about each trail, such as a difficulty rating, an estimated time to complete, total distances, and even elevation metrics. Ford hopes that this will help even novice drivers have a good understanding of what they are up against before setting off down a trail.

The FordPass Performance App for the 2021 Ford Bronco is broken up into three main tabs: Trail Description, Trail Weather, and Trail Waypoints. The first tab takes the information we discussed above and gives 2021 Ford Bronco owners a deeper look at what to expect. This page will provide a much more in-depth look at the trail, while also featuring information about necessary permits and access rules, as well as info about which seasons it is appropriate to attempt a run.

The Trail Weather is rather self explanatory, giving 2021 Ford Bronco owners an overview of the current weather for the area a specific trail is in. The app will also allow you to view upcoming weather changes, be that hourly or up to 10 days in advance. Ford notes that this will be particularly helpful in mountainous areas for example, where weather conditions shift rapidly.

Screenshot of the 2021 Ford Bronco's FordPass Performance App
Image Via Bronco Nation

The Trail Waypoints section of the FordPass Performance App is where Bronco owners can really take a deep look at what they are up against. This page functions as an off-road GPS system, guiding owners down the trails in the app. Thanks to the work done by the survey teams, this tab gives waypoint-to-waypoint directions with photographs to help prevent drivers from getting lost. These instructions will also include the distance between waypoints, as well as their exact GPS coordinates to help you keep track of how far away things actually are.

Better yet, all of the obstacles on the trail are also highlighted in this section, complete with instructions on how to best approach them. Should you want to venture off of the mapped trails, Ford will even allow you to place “bread crumbs” via this tab to help guide yourself back to the main trail. Pretty fool-proof stuff for even the newest of off-road drivers. Customers can even download all of the trail data they might need before they leave civilization, which removes the need for cell service.

While these features might not seem too revolutionary, no other automaker has ever integrated these sorts of features before. The FordPass Performance App will be available on all mid-level and up 2021 Ford Bronco models, which is a bummer for base-model buyers. That said, the app is free to use, and only requires a FordPass account to operate.

Are you excited to give this new software from Ford a try? Let us know down below!

2021 Ford Bronco 4-Door Badlands Area 51 Overlander Concept Yakima Warn Sasquatch BFG KM3
Image via Ford.

Written by Lucas Bell

Lucas holds a journalism degree from Wayne State University, and is a Automotive Press Association scholarship recipient. While an American muscle fan through and through, he once wrote a fascinating comparison review about eScooters.

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