This time, inspiration from Tesla helped.
The fourteenth-generation Ford-150 is packed with innovative features for just about any occasion. From its fully reclining seats, and ultra-wide center console to accommodate laptops, to a hybrid powertrain offered on every trim, the 2021 F-150 is already a winner. Ford has no intention of letting its GM and Ram rivals getting close to its best-selling vehicle status. And now we can confirm yet another new tech-related feature that will be standard across the board, from the $28,500 XL to the $72,000+ Limited.
A member of the New F150 Forum has posted information obtained from a memo Ford sent to dealerships stating that all new F-150s will come standard with an embedded modem. Why is this such a big deal? Because the F-150 will be the only full-size truck to have standard over-the-air updates, and for every trim level.
Thanks to Tesla, OTAs are quickly becoming a regular feature found in new vehicles, though typically in luxury and all-electric models, including the Mustang Mach E. The F-150 Limited is very much a luxury vehicle, but not the XL. The fact that OTAs are now standard will definitely force rival truck brands to respond quickly.
But unlike Tesla's OTAs, which are rolled out to improve range with software improvements for the electric motor and battery packs, Ford's OTAs will work a bit differently. For example, they'll be updating gasoline engine calibration in order to improve fuel economy or even increase engine durability.
As far as we know, this is the first time an automaker will be using this technology to update combustion engines. OTAs will even help eliminate dealership visits for technical service bulletins. Instead of a technician being required to connect the truck directly to a computer to download those updates, Ford can send them out directly to owners.
The 2021 Ford F-150 is due in dealerships nationwide in the coming weeks. Production began early last month at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan. The F-150's second home, the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri, has temporarily been shutdown for retooling.