Alexa—the ultra-popular voice assistant technology from Amazon—is coming soon to the newest models in Ford’s vehicle lineup by the end of 2021. Ford aims to make the vehicles it designs and produces as high-tech and connected as modern devices like smartphones with their new Power-Up technology that will soon introduce Alexa to millions of Ford vehicle models around the world. Will your next Ford come with Alexa?
Amazon and Ford Power-Up Tech
Ford’s newest innovative technology—called Ford Power-Up—is a crucial component of Amazon’s upcoming compatibility with many Ford vehicle models. Ford Power-Up is a system that allows Ford to send automatic, over-the-air software updates to new Ford vehicles.
These software updates include everything from an enhanced navigation system to fun apps like Sketch that allows you to draw pictures on your vehicle’s main display screen with your fingers. One over-the-air software update that will be coming soon to many Power-Up-equipped Ford vehicles is the addition of Amazon Alexa to these vehicles’ infotainment systems.
Power-Up is the system that will allow Ford to introduce Alexa into a broad selection of their vehicles without requiring any of those vehicles to be taken to a Ford dealership for service. It is an extremely convenient technology that allows your Ford to be updated and upgraded automatically—even while you sleep—without in-person service.
Which Ford Models Will Come With Alexa?
Eventually, every Ford Power-Up-equipped vehicle will come with Amazon’s voice assistant. The all-new, all-electric Ford F-150 and the Ford Mustang Mach-E are both already equipped with Ford Power-Up technology. However, the Power-Up over-the-air software update that includes Alexa will not be available in any Ford vehicle until the fall. When it becomes available, Alexa will be automatically introduced to Power-Up-equipped Ford vehicles via an over-the-air update.
Ford has announced their plans to introduce AI to more than 700,000 vehicle models throughout North America by the end of 2021. This major American automaker plans to make Alexa a built-in feature for all future Ford vehicle models—even for base-model vehicles that are not of higher trim levels or equipped with premium packages. Ford plans for millions of Ford models to eventually come equipped with the voice assistant as a standard feature.
It will be free to use Alexa voice assistant technology in your Ford for three years after you purchase your vehicle. After those first three years, Ford will offer the assistant for a fee that has not yet been announced.
How to Use Alexa in Your Ford
In current and future Ford models that are equipped with Alexa, Amazon Alexa will be built into the vehicle’s infotainment system. Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment system is designed to be compatible with Alexa. When you ask questions or give the voice assistant commands, your words and Alexa’s answers will be displayed on your Ford’s infotainment display screen.
It is exciting that Amazon is in the process of being introduced to Ford vehicles via the Ford Power-Up system, but many drivers are curious how exactly having an Alexa-compatible vehicle will impact and enhance their driving experience.
First off, having a voice assistant at your fingertips inside your vehicle makes finding out what you need to know and doing what you need to do easier and more convenient even when you’re on the road. You can give your Alexa-equipped Ford vehicle a wide variety of voice commands that range from asking where the nearest charging station is to asking about traffic conditions on your route to adding an item to your shopping list.
Alexa connects to your Alexa-compatible Ford vehicle even when you’re not inside your car. You can use Alexa on your smartphone to check in on your car, see how much battery charge it has left—this is a prominent feature since Alexa compatibility is currently only available for two of Ford’s all-electric models—start its engine remotely, and turn on the heat or air conditioning before you even step into your vehicle. You can also control your Alexa-compatible smart home devices through your Ford’s Alexa.
Inside your vehicle, you can use Alexa for anything that you would ask or command using your Echo Dot or other in-home Alexa-capable devices. Alexa in Ford vehicles will be compatible with hands-free voice commands in order to minimize distracted driving by allowing you to keep your eyes on the road while you send a text message, play a certain song from your music library, etc.
If buying an all-new Ford vehicle is in your plans in the near future, it is very likely that your next Ford will come equipped with Alexa voice assistant technology.