F-150 Lightning house owners can’t use their telephones as keys till “late summer season”

Anybody fortunate sufficient to get an F-150 Lightning within the subsequent few months will discover that one of many options they might have opted for is lacking: the power to unlock and management the electrical truck utilizing a telephone. In line with screenshots of Particular Service Message notices and in-app messages posted to the Lightning Homeowners’ Discussion board, Ford can be rolling out assist for its Telephone as a Key system in “late summer season 2022” by way of a software program replace as a substitute of delivery it with the truck at launch.

Ford’s Telephone as a Key system helps you to use its FordPass app to unlock and begin your automobile, in addition to management numerous issues just like the home windows, lights, and entrance trunk. What makes the delay barely puzzling is that this isn’t new tech from Ford — the corporate launched it on a couple of 2020 Lincoln fashions, and it’s additionally accessible in its different battery EV, the Mustang Mach-E.

In principle, the app will allow you to open the Lightning’s entrance trunk.
Picture: Ford

Ford’s F-150 Lightning web site notes that the function is restricted to “choose autos,” but it surely doesn’t appear to say something about it not being accessible but. Nevertheless, a doc posted to the Lightning Homeowners’ Discussion board and dated Could sixteenth lists a requirement for sellers to inform clients in regards to the lacking function earlier than they take supply of the truck (assuming they bought one of many Lariat or Platinum trims that options it).

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Members of the discussion board have speculated that the delay may have one thing to do with a just lately introduced Bluetooth Low Vitality vulnerability that researchers say leaves passive entry techniques utilizing the tech open to assault. The F-150 Lightning, together with different vehicles from the likes of Tesla, makes use of Bluetooth LE to inform when your telephone is shut by, however the vulnerability makes it doable to principally trick a system into pondering your telephone is there.

Regardless of the hypothesis, Ford spokesperson Emma Bergg advised The Verge in an e mail that the delay is “unrelated” to the vulnerability, saying that it’s as a substitute as a result of “extra work is required to make sure reliability” of the function.

It’s value noting that this function is Ford’s personal and isn’t associated to the digital automobile key options baked into Android and iOS. In fact, as we noticed with the Mustang Mach-E and Apple’s EV routing system, Ford going with these techniques wouldn’t essentially have meant fewer delays.

Whereas it’s a bummer that the F-150 Lightning is making it to clients’ driveways with out all its options, that’s one thing that’s changing into frequent within the age of chip shortages and provide chain woes. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to be you’ll should take your truck into the store to get the function added (although the dealership doc does word that it might be doable to get the upcoming software program replace a bit earlier by doing so). My colleague Andrew Hawkins just lately did a primary drive of the F-150 Lightning, and it appears like its an incredible truck — hopefully, the expertise of being one of many first to personal one received’t be dampened an excessive amount of by having to make use of certainly one of its included key fobs for a couple of months.

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Replace Thursday Could nineteenth, 6:07PM ET: Added remark from Ford clarifying that the delay is unrelated to the Bluetooth LE vulnerability.

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