Ford’s Surprise Feature That May Level Competition

by Victoria Santiago

As automakers race to make their electric cars the best, Ford’s new surprise feature might finally put them ahead of their competition.

The new feature is part of the FordPass Connect app. The app allows Ford owners to interact with their vehicles remotely. They can do any number of things, as long as the car is equipped with FordPass Connect. Owners will be able to lock/unlock the doors, check their fluid levels, and even start their car. For owners of Ford electric vehicles, the number of features goes up. They can check the car’s charge level, find charging stations near them, and more.

As if the FordPass Connect app didn’t already come flush with features, the automaker is rolling out more. The update isn’t out yet, but Ford has released images of what the app will look like. And there’s something really interesting in these screengrabs. The new version of the app looks like drivers will be able to use the app to park their cars. If that’s true, then owners will be able to guide their car through a parking lot and ultimately park it, without even being in the car.

The images that Ford released show what looks to be an F-150 Lightning. Along with that, we see some interesting word choices used in the app pictures. Every picture has a name: ‘freeDriveforward’ and ‘freeDriveBehind.’ The pictures also have arrows pointing in the directions of the image names. “Some of these images are labeled ‘freeDrive’ but it is uncertain if this is the name of the feature or just the associated imagery for the F-150 Lightning,” said one report about the Ford update.

As If the Ford F-150 Lightning Didn’t Have Enough Selling Points Already

These mysterious images released by Ford all point to one thing: the F-150 Lightning will be able to be remote-controlled, essentially. This would put the automaker miles ahead of their electric truck competition. Currently, Ford, GM by way of Chevy and GMC, and Tesla are all creating their own EV pickups. This could be the thing that pushes Ford ahead.

However, this parking feature itself isn’t new. We should note that it’s one of the things that made Tesla so popular. The electric car company has a feature called “Summon,” which does the same thing. It allows the car to leave its parking space and pick up its owner, as long as the owner is within a certain distance. Other car companies were quick to follow suit.

Regardless, this is sure to be a winning feature for Ford. The Street reports that the automaker originally hinted at self-parking in Germany last September. During a demonstration, they hinted that having to park a car yourself could soon be a thing of the past. “The demonstration shows that driverless parking is a reality and that the broader benefits go beyond comfort, convenience, and time-saving,” the automaker said.