Last week, Ford announced that the upcoming 2021 Mustang Mach-E electric SUV would get a new over-the-air (OTA) update system that would keep the vehicle up to date. Ford said this technology would make it to other vehicles, and we theorized the upcoming 2021 Ford F-150 and Bronco SUV family would be OTA capable. The latest news makes that official.
Motor 1 has uncovered information from an interview between Merrill Lynch Analyst John Murphy and Ford Chief Product Development and Purchasing Officer Hau Thai-Tang that shows we were correct. The next generation F-150 will indeed get this OTA update system.
For the Mustang Mach-E, the OTA updates allows for behind the scenes updates. OTA systems can update infotainment systems with new features or fix bugs. With new vehicles becoming ever more reliant on electronic systems over mechanics, updating those electronics over time is more crucial than ever.
Even though pickup trucks conjure up a rather old fashioned image, modern trucks are actually some of the most tech filled vehicles on the market. The next-gen F-150 will be no exception. Modern trucks use a variety of electronic systems to make the work trucks do easier, like trailering, cameras for visibility, and interior tech.
A key example is off roading. The differential, traction control and suspension systems in off-road vehicles are all controlled by electronic driving modes. With the 2021 Ford F-150, Ford will be able to keep the truck up to date and improve it over time.
Ford also expects these updates to lower warranty and repair costs for the company and customers alike, because minor software issues can be resolved without a trip to the dealership.
Ford’s OTA update system is a step on from that of other manufacturers, like Tesla, because they are quicker and can run in the background. If a vehicle is at home, connected to wifi, updates can download overnight, scheduled from the owners phone app. When the vehicle is turned on, the updates can install in as little as 2 minutes or less.