Ford SmartLink Introduces New Tech Features to Older Models

The technology is set to release this summer.

Ford has developed an innovative piece of kit in their new SmartLink system. Starting in the middle of 2017, owners of 2010-2016 Ford and Lincoln models will be able to upgrade their car or truck's connectivity features with a simple dongle that plugs into the OBDII port below the steering wheel. This allows these older vehicles to receive a host of upgrades, updating your Ford Motor Company vehicle for you and your passengers' convenience.

Think of SmartLink as a utility player. By inserting it directly into the OBDII port, you'll gain access to features that some new Ford vehicles don't even have. Things like remote start and door locking can be controlled through the user's smartphone, introducing the same accessibility to loyal customers of the company. Keeping on with the mobile trend, SmartLink can also be used as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Up to eight devices can be connected, allowing for quick streaming and web surfing. 

“Ford SmartLink will surprise and delight owners of recent model-year vehicles by adding some of today’s most popular connectivity features” said Stephen Odell, executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “Offering it through our dealerships is another way to keep us connected with our customers and earn their loyalty.”

The equipment can also give you essential info about your vehicle. Through the same plug-in, SmartLink can send you health and security reports about your car or truck. You can then use the system to set up service appointments, making it an all-around tool to help keep your auto on the road. This is a significant step in vehicle care, allowing users a much quicker and convenient method towards maintaining their car.

Ford worked with some big names in the mobile technology business to get this job done. Delphi Automotive and Verizon Telematics worked with the automaker to ensure seamless integration of SmartLink. Raj Nair, Ford’s executive vice president of Global Product Development and chief technical officer stated “From security to performance, we’ve conducted extensive testing and made a number of improvements to ensure Ford SmartLink enhances the customer experience for our owners."

This is an interesting development that may start a trend for other automakers. While adding luxuries to the car or truck, it will save customers the hassle of buying aftermarket and making sure that the equipment actually works. We could soon see similar tools like this from other manufacturers, giving older cars of all makes and models the same capabilities.