Chariot van and logo for Ford Smart Mobility

Ford wants to help cities create mobility solutions

Auto manufacturer Ford wants to help cities design urban transportation strategies that capitalize on new technology — including the company’s autonomous vehicles — and innovative mobility solutions.

As part of that approach, on Monday, Ford announced plans to expand Chariot, the van-based ridesharing service it acquired last year, to eight cities during 2017. The service currently operates in San Francisco (CA) and Austin (TX); a pilot shuttle also supplements ski resort services in Lake Tahoe (CA).  Ford has not named the new cities.

With a stake in ridesharing and driverless vehicles, Ford CEO Mark Fields projected 20% profit margins on mobility services. “New business models on mobility services can offer up a lot of opportunity for reoccurring revenue on, let’s say, the usage of our products, as well as new opportunities for us working with cities,” he told USA Today. “So we think it could add a whole new element of growth to our business going forward.”  Fields did not attach a date to his profit margin estimate.

Looking ahead, Fields sees multiple options for expanding on traditional transit services.  “Our view is that cities will want to coordinate all these different types of transportation options,” he said. “We can be a part of helping them architect that, in addition to bringing, let’s say, a dynamic shuttle through Chariot, or bringing our autonomous vehicles or our electric vehicles.” Link to full story in USA Today.

Photo credit: Ford Motor Company



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