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Ford Plans To Wirelessly Upgrade Vehicles To Avoid Frequent Repair Trips

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Ford said that beginning next year, it will equip most redesigned vehicles in the U.S. with over-the-air update or OTA technology that will enable car owners to reduce trips to dealers for repairs.

With this technology, vehicles can be wirelessly upgraded with updates that will help improve vehicle performance and also add new features.

The automaker said that the OTA updates will be "bumper to bumper" and will work with nearly all vehicle computer modules, including in conventional gas-engine vehicles.

Ford expects to deliver the first update about six months after launching the first vehicles with the OTA capability in 2020. Ford will then join luxury electric car maker Tesla in having OTA update capability across its model lineup.

Some of the updates will be virtually invisible to customers as the existing software will be kept running until the new version is ready to use.

Car owners can schedule update times even when they are not using the vehicle, such as in the night or when the car is parked.

According to Ford, most updates can be activated in under two minutes, while any updates that may require the vehicle to be parked can be scheduled to take place when customers find it most convenient.

Customers can receive notifications that provide details of the software updates when they are available or they can opt in for automatic updates over Wi-Fi or cellular connections.

In-vehicle alerts will inform customers what updates were installed when they start the vehicle the next time.

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