Ford Motor Co. announced it has moved to the implementation phase of autonomous vehicles. Its Smart Mobility plan will now include new strategic areas of focus, pilot programs and mobility product experiments.
Smart Mobility is the company’s plan to deliver the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and big data. Ford introduced the plan in January, along with 25 experiments aimed at better understanding consumers’ mobility needs around the globe.
“My great-grandfather helped put the world on wheels so everyone could enjoy the benefits of mobility,” said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford. “Our vision today is to expand that same thinking using advanced technology and new business models, and addressing the mobility challenges people face around the world.”
Following six months of gathering data and consumer insights, Ford is honing in on two strategic areas: flexible use and ownership of vehicles and multimodal urban travel solutions.
Ford Motor Credit Company recently announced Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing – a pilot program for select customers through November. Ford Credit is inviting 14,000 and 12,000 customers in six U.S. cities and London, respectively, to sign up to rent their Ford Credit-financed vehicles to prescreened drivers for short-term use, offsetting monthly vehicle ownership costs. U.S. customers participate through the Web-based, mobile-friendly software of ride-share company Getaround, while London drivers connect through a similar rental system of easyCar Club.
Ford also recently announced GoDrive, an on-demand, public car-sharing pilot. The new pilot – which grew from one of the more than 25 mobility experiments Ford announced in January – offers Londoners an easy way to access transportation through 50 cars positioned in 20 locations, one-way trips with guaranteed parking, pay-as-you-go, per-minute pricing covering all fees and availability of zero-emission Focus Electric vehicles.