Entertainment systems with a full touchscreen are swiftly becoming the norm in the auto industry, but unfortunately for more frugal folks who prefer to opt for used vehicles or hold onto their new cars for years after they’ve been paid off, there’s not much in the way of an upgrade to keep them from missing out on all that new technology – until now. Ford recently announced it would be offering a connectivity plugin device in order to catch older models in their lineup up to speed.
The new device, called the SmartLink system, plugs directly into the OBD II port under the steering wheel to establish a connection with the vehicle’s engine computer. Once that’s done, the owners of these older Ford and Lincoln models will be able to access all sorts of convenient tech features, like vehicle status updates and remote start, alongside onboard Wi-Fi access for up to eight devices. In order to make this possible Ford collaborated with Verizon Wireless and Delphi Automotive on research and development for two years.
There’s no word yet on a release date or pricing, but the rumor mill says this new connectivity plugin device will likely be available on all Ford and Lincoln models from the past six years.