Automobiles have become functional pieces of technology, but they are not exactly the kind of things you can (or want) to buy over and over again to keep up with the times. A secondary market solution that makes older cars a bit smarter is a device that connects to the on-board diagnostics port, or OBD. These have been manufactured and sold by everyone, from Samsung to Verizon, to several new companies, but now, Ford is making one available for its own cars.
The FordPass SmartLink, as it is called, does many of the same things as those other dongles available. When connected to the 2010 model's OBD ports to 2017 Ford cars that lack a modem, it adds an LTE hot spot, gives the driver access to vehicle health information, allows the car to be tracked and allows things to be done like unlocking or lock the car through a smartphone application.
All that information is not exactly cheap. The FordPass SmartLink will be sold at Ford dealerships as of "mid 2018" and costs $ 17 per month plus installation. (Ford originally announced the SmartLink OBD dongle early last year, but released access to it slowly as part of a test program – this is the first time it will be widely available.)
But that monthly price does not include access point data, which is provided by Verizon. Ford says that customers will get a month or up to 1GB of data for free, whichever comes first, but then they will have to pay a monthly fee as they would with any other data plan.