All you people out there that have preordered the electric Ford Focus, it looks like Ford is sweetening your order a bit. They have developed a smartphone app called MyFord Mobile which will be officially demoed at CES. What does the app do? A lot. It calculates what the range left on your battery charge is and that’s tailored to your driving style. It also helps you plan routes, adjust climate controls, acts as remote, and integrates your favorite social networking applications.
In addition, it will provide metrics like how much CO2 you DIDN’T shoot into the air, how much money you saved, how long it will take to charge your battery, and where charging stations are located. This will probably go a long way to alleviating fears about being stranded on the side of the road with no recourse because your battery died on your car. In any case, we see more and more integration of various systems that used to stand alone and all this is being made possible by the amazing, fast-paced adoption of smartphones everywhere. The full release is provided below along with a video for your viewing pleasure.
MyFord Mobile: Drive Greener and Challenge Friends to Help the Earth with Ford’s Electric Vehicle Smartphone App
• Ford will showcase the beta version and new social networking components of the MyFord® Mobile app with the new Focus Electric for the first time, live at the 2012 International CES
• MyFord Mobile stands apart from competitive offerings by harnessing coaching and social networking to help drivers go green and have fun in the process
• The CES award-winning MyFord Mobile app will allow Focus Electric owners to smart charge their car through Value Charging powered by Microsoft, optimizing charging times to reduce electricity costs associated with driving an electric vehicle, a feature exclusive to Ford
• Users can monitor charging, receive alerts, find charge stations, plan trips, share information and more from their smartphones or computers via MyFord Mobile, for an effortless transition to an electric vehicle lifestyle
DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 4, 2012 – Ford Motor Company is combining its new Focus Electric, social networking and hypermiling trends with its new MyFord® Mobile app that makes it easier than ever to drive green.
Ford will demonstrate the first-ever beta versions of the new technology at the 2012 International CES, taking place Jan. 10-13 in Las Vegas.
Focus Electric drivers will be able to share, learn and teach smart driving by participating in forums on the MyFord Mobile website – with features such as leaderboards, unique achievements and social networking – when the car becomes available through dealers in the first half of 2012. In the process, users will be able to seamlessly upload driving achievements and statistics to popular social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
“The MyFord Mobile app and the Focus Electric work together to coach drivers to be more efficient and maximize the benefits of the electric vehicle experience,” said Kelly Zechel, MyFord Mobile product manager. “We wanted to help drivers get more miles out of every charge and have some fun along the way.”
In addition to the fun of not having to stop at gas stations, MyFord Mobile adds gaming and social sharing components to the driving experience. Just as in video games, drivers of the Focus Electric can earn achievements based on how far they drive and how much CO2 they save by not using gas. The leaderboards help MyFord Mobile users track their driving results against other Focus Electric drivers.
Drivers will also earn achievements for engaging in the online MyFord Mobile community forum. The first time drivers share their experiences, help another driver answer a question or provide a helpful tip to others, they will earn an achievement, with more to come after 20 and 100 postings.
There are even “surprise achievements” embedded in the app based on the owner’s activities, much like “easter eggs” that can give gamers extra bonuses in video games. Collectively, the achievements help Focus Electric drivers “keep score” with their peers via competitive rankings.
Leading the charge
MyFord Mobile was announced in early 2011 as a social platform to revolutionize the EV driving experience. In November, the International CES awarded the app as winner in the software and mobile app category. Going further, CES awarded MyFord Mobile the “Best of Innovation” recognition, a first for an OEM.
MyFord Mobile’s Value Charging by Microsoft offers drivers a “set it and forget it” mindset to ease concern about managing the vehicle’s charge in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. This technology can lower a driver’s utility bill by automatically charging the Focus Electric at off-peak times when energy is cheapest, an industry-exclusive to Ford.
Additionally, Ford is leveraging its relationship with MapQuest – and its commitment to having the best EV charge point database and route planning feature – to offer the industry’s only charging station locator. MyFord Mobile is the only electric vehicle management application to include routing and charge station location functionality.
A superior design, user interface and speed of function response ensure MyFord Mobile is the most user-friendly EV app available, and with AT&T as Ford’s embedded solution provider, additional support resources are available to MyFord Mobile users.
The following video demonstrates many of the features that make MyFord Mobile stand apart from competitive offerings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86Yj2WQL3n8.
“Driving the Focus Electric will be a fun experience; with MyFord Mobile, the enjoyment continues after the vehicle is parked and charging,” said Bill Frykman, Business and Product Development Manager. “We are offering a new way of sharing your driving experiences to create a cool factor with the goal of educating new Focus Electric drivers on the perks that come with an electric vehicle lifestyle.”
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.