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Ford of Europe Teams with Vodafone to Bring Wi-Fi to Select 2018 Vehicles

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“Are we nearly there yet?” could become “Are we there already?” as harassed parents will soon be able to keep the kids amused by letting them stream and download movies, games and music on the road.

Ford announced this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that it will offer built-in modems for vehicles sold in Europe thanks to a partnership with Vodafone. The modems will provide drivers with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot capability that allows up to 10 devices to be connected at once. They will also provide drivers with the benefits of FordPass Connect, which includes the ability to remotely lock and unlock doors and locate their vehicle.

“The future of mobility is enabled by connectivity: connectivity between you and the vehicle, between your smartphone and vehicle, and between the vehicle and its surroundings,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. “With FordPass Connect, our SYNC platform is transitioning from being device-centric to become cloud-connected. FordPass Connect with Wi-Fi powered by Vodafone lets kids watch movies, listen to music, or even do homework while travelling; and people working from the road can easily access corporate resources from wherever they are.”

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Ford will leverage Vodafone’s SIM and Internet of Things platform to ensure both compliance with EU regulations and the utmost safety and security for users. Compatible 2018 Ford vehicles will require both the built-in modem and a wireless service data plan; the technology will initially launch on select, as-yet unnamed models in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

“Vodafone and Ford have worked together for over a decade. Now we are addressing drivers’ and passengers’ expectations of staying connected to the rest of their digital world while in their vehicles,” said Ivo Rook, director, Internet of Things, Vodafone. “The range of services that a robust, secure connection can bring to the consumer is growing every day, from information on the health of your car and alerts on traffic conditions to passengers streaming movies to enjoy on long journeys. Ford and Vodafone are creating more opportunities for customers to live a smarter and more connected life.”

Ford announced last month that it will be partnering with AT&T to bring Wi-Fi to select 2018 model-year vehicles in the United States.

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