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Ford’s SmartLink OBD Accessory Adds Connected Features to Older Cars

Ford SmartLink OBD II accessory.

Ford SmartLink OBD II accessory.

August 4, 2017 | Source: Tech Cruncy, techcruncy.com, 26 January 2017, Darrell Etherington

Connectivity features are increasingly included as standard on new vehicles, with cellular modems in particular becoming a popular feature included even in base level trim. Now, connectivity is so important to Ford, that the automaker is actually offering an easy retrofit option to add connected features to Ford and Lincoln vehicles from model years between 2010 and 2016, with SmartLink, a new piece of hardware that drivers can just plug into their car’s OBD II port.

The SmartLink includes a 4G LTE modem on board, letting it act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 8 devices in the vehicle. It also enables remote start, lock and unlock functions, and can send alerts to a car owner via a companion web and mobile app to let them check on car healthy, and get alerts related to security and service requirements.

“We’ve seen the huge interest that we’ve had in SYNC, and now in the modems that we have in our vehicles, and we just talked to a lot of customers and they’re very happy with their current vehicles, but they obviously wanted to have some of the latest connectivity features, too.” said Brett Wheatley, Executive Director of Ford’s Customer Service Division in an interview. “We’ve been doing research for many years on it and we just wanted to make sure that we had the right product that would meet all of our security requirements.”

Ford SmartLink provides owners of 2010 – 2016 model-year Ford and Lincoln vehicles not equipped with a modem access to a wide array of connectivity features through the new platform.  These include remote start; lock and unlock; Wi-Fi access capable of hosting up to eight devices; and vehicle health, security and location alerts.

Components of Ford SmartLink include a 4G LTE-enabled OBD II plug-in device, as well as a companion App and Web Portal used to activate remote features, receive alerts and schedule service appointments with the owner’s preferred dealer

Additional information about Ford SmartLink can be found at, https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2017/01/27/ford-vehicle-owners-upgrade-2010-2016-vehicles-with-connectivity-features.html.

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