Ford Borrows A Play From Tesla, Launches App With Remote Start, Unlocking And More

Ford just announced a service that allows owners to control their car from a smartphone app. Called Sync Connect, the service brings a lot of functionality not traditionally found in gas-powered automobiles — let alone inexpensive ones. The functions rival those found on Tesla’s app and will first be available on the 2017 Ford Escape small SUV.

This app allows owners to lock and unlock their vehicle from afar as well as remotely start the engine. It even allows owners to schedule remote starts, so, say if the owner leaves the house everyday at 7:00 AM, this app can start the car on designated days at 6:55 so it’s nice and toasty warm by 7:00.

Sync Connect also lets owners locate the vehicle using GPS and check the status of certain items including the amount of gas, oil life, battery condition and tire pressure.

Security is provided through a two-step authentication process. And even if the vehicle is remotely started with the app, a key is needed to drive.

The service comes with a cost, though Ford didn’t reveal the pricing. New vehicles will come with five years of service.

It’s unclear at this time how many of Ford’s upcoming or current models will get Sync Connect. Ford isn’t saying, though, since the service is launching on the mass-market and affordable Escape, chances are good that Ford will roll this out across its lineup.