Ford Partners With Chariot on Crowd-Sourced Shuttle
【Summary】Ford is getting involved in other aspects of the mobility business.
DETROIT – Ford has announced it will be acquiring crowd-sourced shuttle service Chariot.
Ford is acquiring the San Francisco-based company as part of a larger outreach to San Francisco and other cities around the world to address mobility problems such as congestion. Ford will also be collaborating with bike-sharing company Motivate in a similar effort.
"We're expanding our business to be both an auto and a mobility company, and partnering with cities on current and future transportation needs is the next major step," Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO, said in a statement. "For more than 100 years, Ford has been part of the community and the trusted source for automotive transportation. Now, we want to work with communities to offer even more transportation choices and solutions for people – for decades to come."
With about half the world's population living in urban areas, and Ford expecting that number to grow by at least 10 percent, the company wants to position itself as a company that can help with logistical solutions – which may be an acknowledgment of the changes that could be coming to the automotive industry in the near future.
"Cities globally are dealing with increased congestion, a growing middle class and environmental issues – all of which can be alleviated by developing mobility solutions fine-tuned to the unique challenges of each location," Jim Hackett, chairman, Ford Smart Mobility LLC, the company's subsidiary created to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services, said in a statement. "At the same time, by expanding our business model to include new forms of transportation – from bikes to dynamic shuttles and more – we are introducing new customers to Ford and creating new revenue and profit opportunities for the future."
Ford wants to expand Chariot's service beyond San Francisco to five or more new markets within the next 18 months.
As it stands now, Chariot, which was formed in 2014, uses Ford Transit Connect vans to serve 28 routes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
The routes are currently crowd-sourced based on user demand, but Ford plans to use algorithms to map out the best routes, adjusting to needs in real time.
The idea is to fill in the service gaps between taxis, ride-shares and buses.
Ford spent very little time on the news regarding its traditional automotive products at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, which takes place in its backyard in Detroit, preferring to instead focus on its planned mobility business.
That's a sign that automakers – or at least one of them – are looking towards a future in which the automotive industry looks very different. A future that may be here soon.
China, Tesla Power Major Changes in Automotive Engineering
Cruise CEO Says Pairing With GM Has Been Rocky So Far
Used-Car Market Could Hold Back Changes in Automotive Industry
Marine Company Brings BMW Battery Tech to the Water
Tesla No Longer World’s Most Valuable Automaker
Delphi's Going High Tech
Auto Suppliers Face Big Changes Thanks to High-Tech Dashboards
Survey Shows Consumer Preferences for Automotive Electronics
- Automotive Tire, Manufacturing Company Continental Purchases Auto Cyber Security Firm Argus
- China's Chongqing Changan to Stop Selling Combustion Engine Cars by 2025
- November 6, 2017 News of the Day: BlackBerry in Talks With Tata Motors' Jaguar Land Rover for Software Deal, Continental and Osram Planning Joint Venture for Automotive Intelligent Lighting Solutions
- November 27, 2017 News of the Day: Letter From U.S. Justice Dept Spurs New Orders in Uber Waymo Lawsuit, UCLA Researchers Develop Device to Make Fuel-Cell Vehicles More Efficient
- Ahead of Tesla, Daimler Reveals its Own Electric Heavy Duty Truck
- Lamborghini’s Terzo Millennio EV Incorporates Supercapacitors and Self-healing Properties
- Global Debut of the New 2018 Mazda 6 at Automobility LA
- November 7, 2017 News of the Day: Google & VW Partner on Quantum Computers to Develop Battery & Self-Driving Technology, Tencent Develops Autonomous Driving System
- Fully Autonomous Cars Are Four Years Away: Nvidia CEO
- November 3, 2017 News of the Day: Hyundai Invests $100 Million for R&D Center in Israel, Didi Chuxing to Develop Network of EV Charging Stations in China