Wouldn't it be great if you could directly reach out to the people who developed your car's software whenever something went awry? Good news. If you drive a Ford, you can.
Over 300,000 Ford vehicles have had a feature installed called Record Feedback. It allows drivers to send a direct message to one of the Blue Oval's engineers whenever they experience any technical hiccups with their vehicle.
How Record Feedback Works
When drivers experience an issue, all they have to do is press the ‘Record Feedback' button on their touch screen. A built-in microphone will then allow them to record and send a message, up to 45 seconds long, to a Ford engineer.
The driver can convey that a feature isn't working properly or is too confusing to use or even share feedback on how they feel the user experience could be improved. When a message is recorded and sent, the vehicle will also take a snapshot of its data logs to send along with the direct message so that the engineers can quickly identify and solve the issue.
As part of the solution process to any Record Feedback they're sent, Ford's engineers can respond by sending an over-the-air-update, if they determine it's necessary or send modifications to the assembly line to prevent the issue from popping up in future vehicles.
According to Connected Vehicle Data internal value manager Kate Barber, Ford will add the Record Feedback feature to the majority of their 2024 production vehicles.
What's the Record Feedback Feature's Track Record So Far?
So far, so good, as they say.
It was reported in May this year that a customer used the Record Feedback feature to report when their Phone As A Key feature ceased working with their Ford. The latest FordPass update restricted some iPhones from pairing with Ford vehicle software. Thanks to the Record Feedback feature, Ford's engineers were alerted to this issue and were able to figure out where the problem stemmed from in the software data and fix it, sending out an update within a few days.
As the Record Feedback feature continues to grow in popularity, Ford plans also to direct the feedback to their Customer Experience team. Not every customer issue that's reported will be the result of faulty technology.
For example, some customers don't like their vehicle defaulting to the baseline drive mode when they restart their car. However, this is because baseline drive modes are tested for the EPA's fuel economy measures, which state those tests can only be administered while the vehicle is in its default drive mode.
At other times, a feature may run smoothly, but a customer may need assistance using it properly, hence the Customer Experience team.
How the Record Feedback Feature Came To Be
Debuting in the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E, the feature was initially the idea of engineer Tim Wittrock, who was fed up with the current process customers had to go through to report issues.
Problems were not reported until after customers took their vehicles into the dealership and filled out a survey, meaning those issues were not addressed until the next model was released the following year.
Thanks to the Record Feedback feature, those issues are getting solved much faster.