Ford reveals ambition for a more technological future 0

Ford aren’t like other carmakers, they’re not regular carmakers, they’re cool carmakers.

Ford announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that they envision a not-so-far-off future where the company is seen as a mobility provider, not just a car maker. This rebranding will be done by providing a service whereby customers have the option to use different types of vehicle depending on their demands each day, in what is being compared to the Spotify of the car industry.

Ford-reveals-ambition-for-a-more-technological-futureThe system would basically be a subscription service where users could use a method of transport that matches their needs that day. Imagine; a sunny day where you could effectively borrow a convertible Mustang and drive down some open roads or driving a Transit van just for the weekend when you’re moving house. Managing the type of vehicle needed will be done using Ford Pass, a Smartphone app the company has already created to show off how their future of mobility vision will work. The app also includes the ability to use a Bluetooth enabled Smartphone as a car key.

Ken Washington, Vice President of research and advanced engineering at Ford, explained how the service would be “similar to subscription services like Spotify” with customers paying a monthly fee for access to a range of vehicles. They don’t own them, like Spotify users don’t own any of the music, but this system will allow a more flexible and affordable alternative to owning a car. “It’s an exciting time to be an automaker,” Washington is quoted as saying. “We are framing this as an additional element of our business. We are still going to be a great auto maker, but this will offer something more.”

Another element of this service that is an exciting innovation is the expected production of autonomous shuttles designed to transport commuters between their home and work. Washington addressed this concept saying: “So there’s this interesting middle ground between public transport and private taxis or car hailing services, where you want something a little cheaper than a taxi or Uber ride, but you don’t want to take the bus. Buses are big, noisy, and are not that convenient. So there’s this neat little space in-between and we’re looking at that as an opportunity. We can take a Transit sized vehicle and enable something that is more dynamic. You can hail that, multiple people can ride in it, it’s a little more comfortable, it’s quieter and it’s outfitted for you to do your work. It’ll have nice lighting and USB plugs. We think we’re onto something and we’re excited about that.” Taxi and mobile auto services such as Uber have seen that particular market expand into a global powerhouse worth an estimated $5.4 trillion, so Ford are smart to hedge their bets and try and find a space for themselves in the market.