Ford has the future in its sights with it weighing much of its ambition on the success of its upcoming app, FordPass.
Launching in April in the US, Ford says the app “aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans” with the integration of mobility and transport services – all under the umbrella of Ford's digital wallet, to cover the costs.
Ride-sharing, ride-hailing, route-finding, and the locating and payment of parking spaces will build the experience at the core of the app. Failing that, users will be able to hook up with FordGuides for further help in arranging their travels.
The service will be open to mobile users regardless of whether they own a Ford car. The company’s shift from merely an auto company into a ‘mobility company’ is largely dependent on the uptake and effectiveness of the app.
Ensuring this, FordPass has been buffered with an array of partnerships.
The auto giant has firstly tapped ParkWhiz and Parkopedia to help drivers find and pay for advance parking. Furthermore, Flightcar, airport car parking and rental service will be tied in.
Underpinning these services will be the Ford Pay to pay for the mobility expenses.
For Ford owners, the experience will be deeper. Users will be able to lock and unlock their car via mobile, in addition to monitoring auto maintenance prompts such as oil and fuel levels, tire and battery levels and car-tracking in the case of theft.
As a final incentive, FordPass looks to strike partnerships with the likes of McDonald's and 7-Eleven, to offer perks to users in a psuedo-loyalty scheme, according to AdAge.
Speaking at the Detroit motor show, Ford chief executive Mark Fields made the case for the company's strategic alteration: "At the moment, we don't pay enough to our customers after the purchase.
"Great companies have better relationships with their customers and also better revenues and stock prices... We want to revolutionise the customer experience in the automotive industry," he said, according to AutoCar.
To showcase its latest work, the car manufacturer is also looking to roll out FordHubs, where consumers can browse its innovations and learn more about its mobility drive, initially in New York, San Francisco, London and Shanghai later this year.
As part of its ridesharing initiative, Ford opened up its Go-Drive scheme in London last May as part of its global Smart Mobility scheme. Passengers are charged by the length of their commutes as part of the service.