Ford Motor's new F-150 pickup and upcoming Mach-E electric SUV will be the first of the carmaker's vehicles to be equipped with electronic systems that enable extensive over-the-air software upgrades, bringing upgradeable, fully connected vehicle technology to the mainstream market.
Ford said customers who opt for the system can download software allowing for hands-free driving on highways, when it is released next year.
Commercial customers will have access to software that can facilitate routing or tracking vehicles in a fleet.
In addition, owners of the connected vehicles can notify the company of any problems with engine control software, which Ford's Jim Farley said will reduce the time it takes to detect warranty problems "from weeks and months to days and hours."
The company will be able to see which features customers use and how, making it easier to determine which equipment could be omitted safely to lower costs.
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