AT&T Teams With Ford, EmFinders

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Dallas - Ford Motor Company and AT&T today announced an agreement to wirelessly connect the Ford Focus Electric.

The Ford Focus Electric car is the company's first all-electric passenger car; it was announced at International CES in January and will enter production at the end of the year.

Through the MyFord Mobile smartphone app, Ford Focus Electric owners will have the ability to send and receive data about their car, providing command and control of vehicle settings while away from it, the company said.

"With a wireless connection, we're putting battery charge and vehicle range information, along with an interactive, data-driven trip planning app, directly at the fingertips of our customers," said Ed Pleet, product and business manager for Ford Connected Services. "This technology will keep drivers connected to vital information, enhancing their electric car ownership experience. The AT&T network is an important part of this equation and we're pleased to have AT&T on board."

At launch, the MyFord Mobile app will be available for most major smartphones, along with a mobile web application for compatibility with any phone supporting HTML-5 browser-based access, or feature phones with WAP 2.0-supported browsers, AT&T said. The feature also is accessible via a secure Ford website.

Owners will use the smartphone to communicate with a Cloud-based server that reportedly stores information provided by the embedded wireless module in Focus Electric.

MyFord Mobile will connect through the AT&T network, allowing users to find current and projected state of charge information, including estimated range and the amount of charge time necessary for additional distances. They will also be able to program vehicle charging with utility input, allowing the car to start charging immediately or when electricity prices are lowest.

Other features include the ability to locate charging stations and get the destination sent to the vehicle; know if the vehicle can reach a specific charge station from its current location with the current charge level; create a journey with multiple stops, while determining the likelihood that the car has adequate charge for the full journey; and receive alerts if the vehicle isn't charging when it's scheduled to, or if charging stops unexpectedly.

Users can also receive alerts during recharge when the vehicle has reached a particular preset charge level or has the ability to reach a particular destination, the company said.  

In a separate announcement, AT&T said it was teaming with EmFinders to wirelessly connect the EmSeeQ device, a wireless device that upon activation dials 911 and reports its location directly to emergency responders.

The EmFinders EmSeeQ is designed like a wristband that can connect to the EmFinders operation center. The product is designed for users with medical impairments, and can only be activated by the EmFinders operation center at the request of the caregiver.

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