Ford Motor Company has been rather focused on the “future of mobility” since the launch of its Smart Mobility Plan and 25 related experiments. The company has been shifting its focus from being an automaker to changing the way the world moves. Now, one year after it announced the Smart Mobility Plan, Ford has revealed one way that it will tie some of the experiments together: FordPass.
FordPass is a platform that will allow consumers access to concierge services, smart parking, car-sharing, and more. Whether they own a Ford vehicle or not, people will be able to sign up for the FordPass Marketplace for free and access “a collection of personal, digital, and physical solutions” that will improve their mobility experience. It will come with a rewards program called FordPass Perks as well as a virtual wallet called FordPay so that purchases can be made within the platform.
“As we’ve studied the mobility challenges people face, we designed FordPass to help provide services that make consumers’ lives easier,” said Ford president and CEO Mark Fields. “FordPass is really about listening to people’s needs and developing ways to help them move better.”
FordGuides will provide one-on-one support to help people plan their daily trips, explain different route options, and book parking spaces. Ford clarified that “the guides will be available free of charge. Their only job is to guide, serve, and help solve mobility challenges – not to sell.”
To help people find and pay for parking more easily, Ford is working with ParkWhiz, a company that offers a smart parking app for Chicago, New York and San Francisco, and Parkopedia, which runs a parking information website.
For car-sharing and borrowing services, Ford is working with FlightCar, which allows people to rent out their vehicles to other pre-screened traveling members at low rates with free insurance.
Furthermore, Ford also plans to launch FordHubs, urban storefronts where people can “experience easier ways to move today, but also to explore, learn and rethink what a smarter way to move could mean for [them] tomorrow.” The first location will open this year at the Westfield World Trade Center in New York, followed by locations in London, Shanghai and San Francisco.
“These aren’t places where we’re trying to sell something,” Stephen Odell, Ford executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service, said about FordHubs. “We want to hear people’s thoughts, and we want to show them what we’re doing to solve the transportation issues of today and tomorrow – and not just in their city, but around the world.”