In recent years, Ford’s mobile-connected vehicle application – FordPass – has enjoyed tremendous success, racking up a 91 percent adoption rate among owners and, along with Lincoln Way, has nearly doubled its membership since 2020. But while FordPass is useful for doing simple things like locking and unlocking doors or remotely starting a vehicle’s engine, Ford has also started to integrate some anti-theft features as well. And that technology recently helped London resident Rory Cellan-Jones recover his dog named Cabbage, as well as five other canines, which were riding in a stolen Ford Transit Custom owned by dog walker Brett Holte-Smith.
Holte-Smith had parked in front of a relative’s house to see if they wanted to tag along on the ride to the dog park, but he left the van running with the key inside. An enterprising thief took advantage of the situation by hopping in and taking off with the van and the group of dogs. With the authorities contacted, Cellan-Jones also took advantage of his online presence by creating a tweet asking for help that contained the van’s license plate number, and that tweet quickly went viral to the point that the story was picked up by the local news.
Thankfully, authorities had another tool at their disposal to locate the stolen Transit – FordPass. The police were able to track down the van’s location and find five of the six missing dogs, though the culprit was already gone. Shortly thereafter, the last missing dog and the Transit were located, thanks to the app. Ford has even offered to provide Holte-Smith with a vehicle to drive until his Transit can be repaired. But above all, this is a story of how useful connected vehicle technology can truly be.
On Friday, thieves stole a London dog walker’s @Ford Transit w/ 6 dogs inside, including @ruskin147‘s good girl Cabbage.— Jim Farley (@jimfarley98) November 15, 2021
Thankfully our UK team helped the owner use the #FordPass app to locate his van.
Even better, all 6 dogs were found & returned.
Ford Pass saves the day! pic.twitter.com/1Js8YiCMU3
“Connectivity is the cornerstone of our mission to deliver smart vehicles,” said Mark Harvey, Ford enterprise connectivity director. “What brings that plan to life, and makes it all the more rewarding, is real-life stories such as this, with Ford’s technologically advanced vehicles bringing about a better outcome for customers in need.”