Anybody fortunate sufficient to get an F-150 Lightning in the next few months will discover that one of many options they could have opted for is lacking: the flexibility to unlock and management the electrical truck utilizing a telephone. In response to screenshots of Particular Service Message notices and in-app messages posted to the Lightning Owners’ Forum, Ford can be rolling out help for its Telephone as a Key system in “late summer 2022” by way of a software program replace as a substitute of delivery it with the truck at launch.
Ford’s Phone as a Key system enables you to use its FordPass app to unlock and begin your car, 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 few 2020 Lincoln models, and it’s additionally obtainable in its different battery EV, the Mustang Mach-E.
Ford’s F-150 Lightning web site notes that the function is restricted to “select vehicles,” but it surely doesn’t appear to say something about it not being obtainable but. Nonetheless, a doc posted to the Lightning Owners’ Forum and dated Might sixteenth lists a requirement for sellers to inform prospects concerning the lacking function earlier than they take supply of the truck (assuming they bought one of many Lariat or Platinum trims that options it).
Members of the discussion board have speculated that the delay might have one thing to do with a recently announced Bluetooth Low Vitality vulnerability that researchers say leaves passive entry methods utilizing the tech open to assault. The F-150 Lightning, together with different automobiles from the likes of Tesla, uses Bluetooth LE to inform when your telephone is shut by, however the vulnerability makes it doable to principally trick a system into considering your telephone is there. Ford didn’t instantly reply to The Verge’s request for touch upon whether or not the invention and delay have been linked.
It’s price noting that this function is Ford’s personal and isn’t associated to the digital automotive 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 methods wouldn’t essentially have meant fewer delays.
Whereas it’s a bummer that the F-150 Lightning is making it to prospects’ 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 look like you’ll should take your truck into the store to get the function added (although the dealership doc does be aware that it might be doable to get the upcoming software program replace a bit earlier by doing so). My colleague Andrew Hawkins lately did a first 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 one in every of its included key fobs for just a few months.