Pivotal and Ford Are Making FordPass All About the Experience for Owners and Non-Owners Alike

Posted by at 11:48 am on February 9, 2016

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Ford introduced at this years’ CES and NAIAS a smartphone app called FordPass that helps motorists find parking, rent out their personal cars while traveling without their cars, learn more about mobility needs, and communicate with the Fords they own about the car’s status.There’s also a loyalty rewards program with points redeemable at (so far) 7-Eleven and McDonald’s.

Now Ford and Pivotal are announcing new details to their three-year strategic collaboration dedicated to enhancing the connected car experience for Ford customers, accelerating digital transformation, and developing mobile and user experience. Ford is working with Pivotal to build a software platform supporting FordPass – the all-inclusive digital, physical and personal platform that re-imagines the relationship between automaker and consumer or even the non-owner.

FordPass also will allow Ford owners with SYNC Connect technology to remotely start, lock and unlock, and locate their vehicle – capabilities that will play a key role in future mobility services.

“With FordPass, we are making it easier for consumers, whether they own a Ford vehicle or not, to get where they need to go,” said Elena Ford, vice president, Global Dealer and Consumer Experience. “Working with Pivotal, Ford will be able to rapidly add new features and adapt mobility solutions and services that benefit FordPass members in the ways that fit them best.”

By collaborating with Pivotal, Ford gains a wealth of cutting-edge modern software development methodologies, next-generation cloud platform and analytics capabilities and knowledge. At the pace of a startup, Pivotal and Ford IT engineers are working side-by-side to continuously innovate in developing and designing new consumer experiences for FordPass members.

“More than 100 years ago, Ford transformed how the world moved. Now, Ford is using Pivotal’s cloud platform and technologies to do it again by bringing the Silicon Valley state of mind to the company,” said Pivotal CEO Rob Mee. “By collaborating with Pivotal on FordPass, Ford is proving they can innovate and move as quickly as any venture-backed startup.”

What’s in FordPass

FordPass is an everyman’s concierge service. It encompasses a smartphone app with general mobility services plus additional owner-to-car services that work only if you own a Ford.

The Marketplace covers services such as parking, ride sharing, car sharing, and multimodal transportation planning. ParkWhiz and Parkopedia promise to find parking, reserve a spot, and let you prepay. If they’re timed parking spaces, you could in theory add more money, but that would mostly apply to municipal metered parking. FlightCar, for instance, lets owners let owners rent out their cars while they’re traveling elsewhere, such as by plane. Ford is developing a digital wallet to handle purchases if users don’t have other digital wallets such as Apple Pay.

FordGuides lets passholders speak with “trusted and knowledgeable FordGuides,” or advisors, “at the touch of a button,” to help passholders “solve mobility challenges [but] not to sell.”

FordPass Appreciation is the member rewards part for signing up, parking, or using the FordGuides. They’ll be rewarded with “merchandise and experiences.” Reward partners so far are McDonald’s and 7-Eleven and the reward example cited by Ford is getting a free coffee at the golden arches.

FordHubs are storefronts located around the world, in New York City (opening first, at Westfield World Trade Center), San Francisco, London, and Shanghai. These are not car showrooms for buyers (although cars may be on display). Instead, says Ford, there will be special events such as new car reveals and on a daily basis they’ll be available to help guests understand mobility options such as, perhaps, “What’s the best way to get to Fisherman’s Wharf and do I have to walk from the bus stop?”

FordPass launches in April; membership is free for Ford vehicle owners and non-owners alike by registering online at MyFordPass.com.

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