Nine out of 10 new Fords will have connected-car technology by 2020, according to the company’s head of smart mobility.

Speaking at the reveal of the new Ford Fiesta Van at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, Mark Harvey said: ‘More than 90 percent of our production will be connected by the year 2020.’

The news comes just two weeks after Ford announced that the new Focus would be the first passenger car to carry the FordPass Connect system.

Using a smartphone app, the system allows owners to view a multitude of vehicle parameters, ranging from fuel level and location to door locking and diagnostic fault codes.

‘There’s an electronic network on the vehicle that’s monitoring lots and lots of data and there is a huge amount of data in there,’ said Harvey. ‘What we’re trying to focus down with FordPass Connect is the stuff that’s of value to the customer and in terms of the overall ownership experience.

‘At present, the FordPass app allows you to put destinations in - we use Here Mapping - and when you plug your phone into your vehicle, it will ping that destination directly to the sat nav. It can also send you recall notices and it’s got dealer details, and certain dealers will let you ring through to book an appointment.

‘With FordPass Connect, you’ll have the ability to lock and unlock remotely, check the fuel level and so on.’

Harvey was also quick to address potential concerns about data protection, claiming that the company, which currently makes some of Britain’s most popular cars, was ‘absolutely on top of data privacy’.

‘Before the data comes off the vehicle, the customer has to give their consent,’ he said. ‘That’s the most important step of the journey. We will not sell it to anyone without their knowledge or agreement. We take data privacy very seriously. Also, because we are multi-national, some of our data processing will happen in the US, so we have to meet European GDPR regulations and US regulations.’

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