PRETORIA, South Africa, 22 February 2021 – Ford Ranger customers in South Africa now have access to an enhanced ownership experience with the introduction of FordPass Connect on all new XL, XLS, XLT, Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor models from February 2021 production – as well as the newly launched Ranger FX4.
FordPass Connect makes life simpler and easier and, as Ford South Africa’s best-selling vehicle – which is locally produced at the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria – it is the first to offer this innovative technology as standard. All Rangers equipped with FordPass Connect are fitted with an embedded modem at no additional cost that pairs with the FordPass smartphone app to unlock a range of new connected services.
“Connectivity is the cornerstone of our mission to deliver smart vehicles for a smart world, and FordPass Connect and the FordPass app allows us to bring smart, simple-to-use real-world technologies into the hands of Ranger owners and their families, significantly enhancing their ownership experience,” says Neale Hill, MD of Ford South Africa.
“FordPass builds on Ford’s legacy of democratising class-defining technologies, starting with the first-generation SYNC®infotainment system with voice control, through to the latest SYNC®3 with Navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all XLT models upwards,” Hill says. “This has been bolstered by an extensive range of driver assistance features on the Ranger that were previously the domain of the premium passenger car segment.”
From the first iteration of the current-generation Ranger, it has been the benchmark in the pickup segment for active and passive safety, with the Wildtrak being equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Aid and Lane Keep Assist, Trailer Sway Control, along with Semi-Auto Parallel Park Assist. ABS brakes have been fitted standard across the range, and Electronic Stability Programme, Hill Descent Control (4x4 derivatives) and Hill Launch Assist are included on all but the Base models.
“Our adoption of advanced technologies is being accelerated by extensive investment in autonomous and electric vehicles. This is carried through to our manufacturing operations, most notably following the recent announcement of Ford’s R15.8-billion investment in high-tech upgrades and new automated facilities at the Silverton Assembly Plant for the next-generation Ranger, which we expect to once again set the benchmark in its segment,” Hill says.
“We’re taking the next step on the path towards enhanced connectivity and mobility with the launch of FordPass Connect and the FordPass app, which reinforces our commitment to delivering an improved customer experience throughout the ownership journey,” Hill adds. “This is backed up by our focus on producing vehicles of the highest quality, delivering exceptional after-sales service and providing a suite of customer support and engagement initiatives that truly embrace each owner as part of the Ford family.”
FordPass Connect is seamlessly paired with the existing vehicle infotainment systems – including the entry-level SYNC®1 system on XL models through to the mid-level Connected Touch Radio (CTR) eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, or the fully-featured SYNC®3 with Navigation that is fitted as standard on the high-series models.
“Whether you’re a young family, small business or simply appreciate the convenience, FordPass Connect and the FordPass app can really make so many day-to-day tasks easier, helping our customers get the best out of owning a Ford Ranger and truly Live The Ranger Life,” explains Doreen Mashinini, General Manager of Marketing at Ford South Africa.
“From remote starting your Ranger to locking or unlocking it from anywhere in the world, or accessing key vehicle information and support services, FordPass Connect truly defines a new era for Ranger in South Africa,” Mashinini says.
Other than the usage of mobile data for the user’s smartphone, there are no data costs associated with the FordPass Connect modem, which connects to the cloud via the 4G mobile network.
An unlimited number of users can be authorised via the FordPass app and FordPass Connect, who can then perform command and control functionality and see relevant vehicle data on their own smartphone device. The command/control functions such as Remote Start and Stop are deactivated while the vehicle is in use.
FordPass: connectivity at your fingertips
When used together, the key features of the FordPass app and FordPass Connect include command and control functionality, key vehicle information, online resources and links to emergency roadside assistance.
The FordPass app is also compatible with Ranger models produced from 2017, providing selected vehicle, warranty and maintenance information, as well as the available search functions for dealers, fuel stations and parking. However, without the FordPass Connect modem (which cannot be retro-fitted), none of the location, command or control functions are available.
Data use and privacy
Connected vehicle information is associated with the vehicle's unique identification number (or 'VIN'). The vehicle is delivered from the factory with the FordPass Connect mode in a partially activated state, and automatically sends data to Ford’s servers via the 4G mobile network. This is limited to diagnostic information, warning indicator lights, and maintenance data such as oil life and engine temperature.
Customers have the option of keeping the modem in the partially activated state, or fully activating the unit to deliver the optimal user experience. This requires downloading the FordPass app for Android or iOS devices, adding the VIN and activating the vehicle. In this mode, the FordPass Connect model also sends driving usage data and vehicle location information. Ford is responsible for all data collection, which is stored in both the company’s servers and third-party cloud service providers, including Microsoft and IBM, located in the United States.
The vehicle data is accessed under strict rules by Ford’s engineers and technical staff, for the purpose of diagnosing and developing repairs to vehicles in service and to improve future designs. To anonymise vehicle data, Ford’s Global Data team ‘tokenises’ or ‘separates’ VINs from the stored information.
The modem can be deactivated via the infotainment system should the customer wish to turn off all data transmission, in which case none of the FordPass and Connected features will be functional.
Customers can access additional information on FordPass Connect at www.ford.co.za/fordpass or by downloading the FordPass app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.