Future updates will enable more accurate predictions, including the ability to factor in real-time traffic conditions, terrain and elevation of a given route, letting drivers know if they need to anticipate a charging stop.
In an attempt to minimise range anxiety among its Mustang Mach-E SUV customers, Ford Motor has introduced an Over The Air (OTA) upgrade to predict how much range drivers have left, becoming more precise over time.
The new feature called Intelligent Range will be able to calculate exact range of the Mustang Mach-E based on several factors such as driving behaviour, weather forecasts and crowdsourced data from other Mach-E vehicles.
“Electric vehicle customers need to be able to trust their range estimates," said Darren Palmer, Ford global director, battery electric vehicles. “People want to be confident they’re going to make it where they need to go, whether they’re on a road trip or coming home from work. Our new Intelligent Range feature helps ensure Mustang Mach-E owners around the globe know where they stand ahead of time, freeing them up to enjoy the ride."
Intelligent Range will retrieve the data by taking advantage of the cloud to predict how much energy will be used in future driving. The vehicle battery system reports how much energy is available, while the powertrain module tracks how much energy is being used. Warmer or colder weather can impact range, so Intelligent Range takes that into consideration, too, updating estimated range along the way.
Crowdsourced data from other connected Ford electric vehicles who choose to share information on the road can improve estimates considerably. The all-electric SUV can track how much energy is used in different circumstances, including varying speed, terrain and climate conditions, so it can use fleet averages across all Mustang Mach-Es to improve range estimates – even for routes and conditions an individual customer has never driven before.
If range is impacted notably by any number of factors at the start of a trip, customers will receive a notification in their cluster highlighting the new range estimate and details about why the estimate changed.
In case a Mustang Mach-E does run out of charge, the Ford Roadside Assistance program will tow customers free of charge to where they want within 35 miles – whether that be their home, the nearest public charger or an EV-certified Ford dealership.
If a customer’s home, the nearest charge station or dealership is more than 35 miles away, they will be taken to the closest location available.
Ford will upgrade Intelligent Range through over-the-air updates, designed to deliver even more accurate prediction capabilities for connected Mustang Mach-E, keeping their fully electric SUVs at the forefront of technology. A future update will allow Mustang Mach-E to take even more advantage of cloud-connected capabilities, enabling it to factor in real-time traffic conditions, road slope, the terrain and elevation of a given route, and even the temperature at their final destination.
“Changes in driver behaviour and the environment can impact range, which is the reason other electric vehicles often experience significant range adjustments," said Mark Poll, Ford’s EV charging user experience manager. “Ford is tapping the power of the cloud to make estimates even more accurate – reducing the need for surprise charging stops and helping reduce customers’ range anxiety."