Part 1: Shane and the Problem
For the uninitiated, getting out in the wild can be difficult. Bryan Cranston voiceovers aside, the beauty of the North American wilderness is special and, for many, outside the reach of their experience and technical ability. Ford is trying to change that with an app and a suite of capabilities unlike anything ever attempted in a vehicle. Bronco Nation got a chance to sit down with the Senior Product Manager for Navigation at Ford and talk about the FordPass Performance app and we feel like this could be Bronco’s most important contribution to the world of off-road adventure.
In this series of articles, we’re going to examine the features and capabilities that the FordPass Performance app brings to Bronco. The feature set is groundbreaking, and we’re excited to share it with the Nation. However, to fully appreciate what this is and how it all came to be we need to introduce an important character and the problem that he’s trying to solve.
First, let’s talk about Shane Coloney. Most of you probably haven’t heard of him, he’s skipped around a number of companies, usually working in product management. However, chartography, navigation, and mapping seem to be his passions and years of experience at Garmin and Navico demonstrate that. That, and the patents he’s credited with covering Marine Data Collection and using radar to generate maps.
Shane being a chartography nerd is just one part of why he was such a good fit for leading the effort to create the app. He also really likes solving problems and pulling seeming unrelated concepts and technology together into a solution that users love. Getting Bronco owners who have never taken their rigs off-road out into the wild with the information they need to have a great and safe experience sounds like the perfect challenge for Shane and his team.
Shane Coloney – Senior Product Manager for Navigation
Part of my role at Bronco Nation has involved attending events across the country. We’ve followed the Broncos to Colorado, California, Arizona, and Utah. Every time I go to one of these events out west, I either fly over or drive through vast swaths of pristine wilderness. When I see it, I want to explore it. However, I wasn’t born yesterday, and I know that adventures in the wild are best pursued after careful planning and preparation. How am I supposed to know where the trails are, what obstacles are on the trail, or whether my Bronco can handle those obstacles? Currently, I can find most of this information through a combination of YouTube, forums, and a few other sources but gathering it is time consuming and it still doesn’t have the level of detail I would prefer.
Bronco’s implementation of the FordPass Performance app will guide Bronco owners over more than 2000 trails across the US, Canada, and Mexico. It will deeply integrate with the Bronco to capture detailed telemetry data and then display that data in an overlay of the trail footage that is captured on a smart phone at the press of a button. That video and trail experience can then be exported and shared virtually anywhere the user chooses on the internet. Every Bronco with the MID package will have access to the entire Bronco FordPass Performance experience, all owners need is a free FordPass account.
Furthermore, all of this data is either stored directly to the user’s device or stored in a Ford backend that is visible to the user and can be deleted by the user, if they chose to.
So much about Bronco is centered around getting you into the great outdoors. It’s like someone at Ford decided the only hope for humanity was to get people as far away from civilization as possible. After spending an unsatisfactory percentage of my life in massive urban centers both in the US and abroad, I can see how someone would come to that conclusion. Bronco+FordPass Performance, if it works as advertised, removes some significant barriers to accessing some of the most incredible places on the planet.
Part 2 in our series, we’ll take you through how using the app can help you find those incredible places and how the app will help you plan your next great adventure.